Liberia's presidential election likely to need runoff vote

George Weah

George Weah

The head of the National Elections Commission said Sunday that former soccer superstar George Weah maintains his lead in the election, but only has 39 percent of the vote. The Liberty Party's candidate is Charles Brumskine, a corporate lawyer who placed third in 2005 elections and fourth in 2011.

If no single candidate gains more than 50% of the vote, a run-off will be scheduled in November between the top two contenders, according to Liberian law.

The country's electoral body had registered 2.18 voters for the Presidential and legislative polls in the country of 4.5 million people.

The final certified results from Tuesday's poll must be announced by October 25, although provisional results from the remaining precincts are expected in the coming days.

The latest results represent about 95 percent of all ballots cast. However, he has yet to produce evidence of cheating and global observers said they saw no major problems.

As the results came in, the manager of Arsenal Football Club, Arsene Wenger, was apparently duped by false reports that Mr Weah had won.

"This commission has not declared any victor", he stressed.

"The Secretary-General commends the efforts of the National Elections Commission and security institutions for this important milestone in the history of Liberia", said a statement issued by his Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric.

Liberia seeks a successor to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who led the country as it recovered from civil war and the Ebola outbreak that killed almost 5,000 Liberians.

However, parties supporting three of the 20 candidates have alleged irregularities and said they would contest the result, Reuters reported. However, many Liberians complain about poor public services and widespread corruption and say they are eager for a new president.

Sirleaf has led Liberia through a period of peace in the aftermath of a 14-year civil war that ended in 2003.

Mr Weah, 51, has chosen Taylor's ex-wife Jewel Howard Taylor as his running mate.

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