NAIROBI – Liberians headed on Tuesday to the polls to vote for their new president in a run-off election between the incumbent vice president and a former international soccer player.
Vice President and former minister of agriculture Joseph Boakai, the leader of the ruling Unity Party, garnered 28.8 percent of the votes in the first round of the election held on Oct. 10, while retired Liberia striker George Weah, of the Coalition for Democratic Change, won 38.4 percent.
Originally set for Nov. 7, the run-off was postponed when presidential candidate Charles Brumskine, the Liberty Party’s leader who came in third in October’s first round of voting, filed a complaint to the National Elections Commission alleging fraud and irregularities.
The country’s Supreme Court dismissed the allegations and scheduled a second round for Dec. 26.
Over two million voters are expected to cast their ballots to choose a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, marking Liberia’s first democratic transition of power since 1944.
Sirleaf, the first female head of state in Africa, her compatriot Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.
Liberia has been struggling with the aftermath of the 2014 Ebola crisis, which left almost 5,000 people dead.