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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Opposition candidate Weah wins Liberian Presidential run-off

MONROVIALiberia (Xinhua) -- The candidate of the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) George Weah has taken the lead in Liberia’s presidential run-off election, the country’s electoral body said on Thursday.

With 98.1 percent of the vote counted, Weah came far ahead with 61.5 percent, while his rival, incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai is trailing behind with 38.5 percent, head of the National Election Commission Jerome Korkoya told reporters.

Weah, a former soccer star, had won 14 out of Liberia’s 15 counties in Tuesday’s run-off, Korkoya said.

The electoral commission said turnout in Tuesday’s race stood at 56 percent and that final results of the election will be announced on Friday.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

United Nations Secretary-General commends peaceful vote in Liberia

UNITED New York (Xinhua) -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday welcomed the peaceful conduct of the second round of the presidential election in Liberia, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres, in a statement.

The UN chief announced that he is sending former Nigerian leader Olusegun Obasanjo to support the country in the first peaceful transfer of power from one democratically-elected leader to another in more than 70 years, added Dujarric.

"The Secretary-General hopes that the will of the Liberian electorate will be respected and that a seamless transfer power will take place within constitutional timelines," said Dujarric.

Liberians on Tuesday voted in a second round of elections, deciding between Vice-President Joseph Boakai and George Weah, a politician and former soccer star.

The first round of elections in the west African country was held in October. A runoff was originally scheduled for November, but was delayed due to allegations of voter irregularities by a third candidate.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly in September, outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman elected as head of an African country, said that the polls would signal an "irreversible course" towards democracy in the country.

Sirleaf took office in 2006, ending a civil war that erupted under the leadership of her predecessor, Charles Taylor.
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Liberians vote to choose new leader in presidential run-off

MONROVIA Liberia (Xinhua) -- Polling stations opened across Liberia on Tuesday for the second round of presidential election as citizens voted to choose a new leader.

The much-anticipated second round of voting is a contest between opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) candidate George Weah and Liberian vice president Joseph Boakai, the governing Unity Party’s candidate.

The winner will replace Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female president, who is stepping down after two terms in office.

In the capital city of Monrovia, there was a heavy presence of security personnel in all polling centers, and at least three queue controllers at each of the centers.

Terence Wennah, a voter, said the voting process had been smooth and fast as he spent less than 20 minutes on queue to cast his vote.

Alfred Thomas, another voter, said it was too early to describe a seemingly low turnout as "voter apathy."

Thomas said more voters are likely to come out to perform their civic rights before the close of polls at 3 p.m. local time.

No candidate was able to secure the 50 percent plus one valid votes cast required by law to be elected president in the first round on Oct. 10.

Weah, a former soccer star, garnered 38.4 percent of the vote in the first round against Boakai’s 28.8 percent.

Liberian police on Monday said security had been beefed up throughout the country ahead of the presidential run-off, allaying fears of possible violence.

             

 

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