World, Africa

Liberia goes to polls for presidential elections

More than 2M people are expected to find successor to Africa's first female president on Tuesday

10.10.2017
Liberia goes to polls for presidential elections MONROVIA, LIBERIA - OCTOBER 10 : A voter casts her vote during general election at Sr. Kathleen McGuire Memorial Catholic school in Monrovia, Liberia on October 10, 2017. ( Stringer - Anadolu Agency )

By F. Momolu Dorley

MONROVIA, Liberia

Liberia will go to the polls on Tuesday to elect a successor to Africa’s first elected female president and Nobel laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Twenty candidates are in the race to succeed Sirleaf as she nears the end of her second six-year term in office, that bars her from seeking a third term.

Vice President Joseph Boakai of the ruling Unity Party and ex-football star George Weah of the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change party are the main contenders in the presidential race.

Other contenders include Alexander Cummings, a former Coca-cola executive, and Charles Brumskine, who wants to make Liberia a Christian state.

Jewel Howard-Taylor, wife of former President Charles Taylor who is serving a jail term in the U.K, has been chosen as running mate by Weah.

Sirleaf had taken office in 2006, after her predecessor Charles Taylor was ousted.

She has fallen out with Boakai, who has voiced out publicly that she does not support him. With an economic crisis and rising inflation, Sirleaf’s ratings plummeted at the end of her tenure, according to multiple polls.

Tuesday’s elections are historic for the country as it will be the first time in 70 years when presidential power will be peacefully transferred from one democratically elected government to another.

More than 2 million people, half of Liberia’s population, are eligible to vote, the National Elections Commission said.

The EU, African Union, the U.S. and other partners have sent in observer missions to watch over the polls.


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