Candidates cast their ballot in Liberia presidential election



The candidates in Liberia’s presidential election cast their ballot in a suburb of the capital, Monrovia, on Tuesday.
The election pits 51-year-old former football star and senator George Weah against 73-year-old Joseph Boakai, who has been the country’s vice president for the last 12 years.
The West African nation, founded by freed American slaves, will see one democratically elected government hand power to another for the first time in more than 70 years.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, 79, is stepping down as president after two terms in office that brought the impoverished country out of back-to-back civil wars and grappled with a deadly Ebola outbreak.
Weah was defeated by Sirleaf in 2005, but said he was certain of victory this time round.
Sirleaf initially said she would support her vice president, but amid allegations that she preferred Weah she has backed off publicly supporting either candidate.
Weah draws his support from the younger generation.
This is his third time running for the presidency, and 60 percent of Liberia’s population is under 30.
Weah leads the ticket for a coalition party, the Congress for Democratic Change, with Jewel Taylor-Howard as his vice presidential running mate.
She is the ex-wife of imprisoned former warlord and President Charles Taylor.
Boakai has promised to make road reconstruction the centre of his development drive, and also has promised to create 50,000 jobs in the first 150 days.
Tuesday’s runoff had been contested twice in court amid claims of irregularities, with its original 7 November date delayed.
It is Liberia’s first independently run election since the end of its back-to-back civil wars.
The United Nations has helped to oversee past votes. (Video: AP)