Liberia votes ahead of first power transition in more than a decade

Liberia votes ahead of first power transition in more than a decade

Today Liberia will hold general elections, its third election since transitioning to democracy in 2005. With incumbent President Ellen Johnson

Liberian Vice President Joseph Boakai

Photo: Joseph Boakai

Today Liberia will hold general elections, its third election since transitioning to democracy in 2005.

With incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf term-limited after 12 years in office, the elections mark the country’s first democratic transition of power between governments.

Vice President Joseph Boakai leads a field of 20 registered presidential candidates and is promising to continue Ms Sirleaf’s legacy of peacefully uniting Liberia after 14 years of civil war. But he faces two strong opponents; football star-turned-senator and 2005 presidential runner-up George Weah, and former Senate Pro Tempore Charles Brumskine, both critics of Liberia’s endemic corruption.

Although most polls put Boakai 10 points ahead of his nearest opponent, the most recent poll showed Mr Weah leading with 24.73% of the vote. Complicating matters, 49% of the electorate remains undecided. Even Boakai’s best polls have him capturing less than 40% of the vote, meaning that the results of the runoff will largely depend on the endorsements of losing candidates.

Unlike in 2011, Liberia’s elections have seen little violence, boding well for Liberia’s budding democracy.

 

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