Liberia: Electoral commission announces date for presidential run-off

The Liberia Electoral Commission has scheduled a presidential election run-off for November 14 after results showed that the two frontrunners, President George Weah and opposition leader Joseph Boakai, had failed to secure majority votes.

Weah holds a slim lead at 43.83% of the votes, while Boakai has 43.44%, according to tallied results from 100% of polling places, the Electoral Commission said.

To avoid a runoff, the winner of Liberia presidential election must secure over 50% of votes cast.

The Commission’s chairperson, Davidetta Browne Lansanah, said there was a record turnout of 78.86% of around 2.4 million registered voters.

The October 10 election has been widely seen as a test of support for former soccer star Weah, 57, who was criticised in his first term by the opposition and Liberia’s international partners for not doing enough to tackle corruption.

On his campaign trail, he asked voters for more time to fulfil his promise to rebuild the nation’s broken economy, institutions and infrastructure, pledging to pave more roads if reelected.

Liberia is struggling to recover from two civil wars that killed more than 250,000 people between 1989 and 2003 and from a 2013-16 Ebola epidemic that killed thousands.

Boakai, 78, is Weah’s main challenger and campaigned on what he called the need to rescue Liberia from alleged mismanagement by Weah-led administration.

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