Liberians revisit the pills in presidential runoff

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Liberians started voting in the second round of presidential elections Tuesday morning across the West African country.

The presidential runoff is a contest between two political heavyweights, incumbent President George Weah of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change and former Vice President Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party.

“The process has been smooth and peaceful so far. We expect that voting during this runoff process will be faster compared to the initial polls because it involves only one ballot paper per voter,” said Lawrence Fahnbulleh, a voter in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia.

Observers from various local and international organizations, including the Economic Community of West African States and the West African Elders Forum, are on the ground to monitor the electoral process, ensuring fairness and transparency.

More than 2.4 million Liberians were registered to vote during the election process. The National Elections Commission (NEC) oversees the conduct of the elections in all 15 counties of the country.

The first round of voting, held on Oct. 10, did not yield a clear winner among 20 presidential candidates, leading to this runoff between Weah and Boakai, the top two contenders.

Weah told the media, after voting Tuesday at the Kendaja Elementary School center in Paynesville, a suburb east of Monrovia, that Liberians would hand him a second term in office based on his administration’s accomplishments so far.

“I am always confident. I go through the process. Again, the confidence that Liberians have placed in me, with my work, I think, with everything that I have done already, the Liberian people will elect me,” the president said. “Everybody is voting, and there is no tension. That is the democracy we want.”

His rival, Boakai, who voted at a center in the Catharine Maguire Catholic School, also in Paynesville, expressed optimism about winning the election as he acknowledged cheers from his supporters.

The campaigns leading up to this moment have been marked by spirited rallies, intense debates, and a focused discussion on the critical issues facing Liberia, including economic development, social welfare, and the country’s fight against corruption.

The voting process in the ongoing presidential runoff is expected to close at 6 p.m., local time, Tuesday, said Davidetta Lansanah, head of the NEC, in a video message Monday. Lansanah added that the voting process will be promptly followed by the collation and official announcement of results by the NEC.

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