Tuesday’s general election in Liberia has 2.4 million voters who can vote. President George Weah is running for re-election after serving for the first six years amid charges of corruption and persistent economic hardship.
Weah, 57, who entered politics following a successful soccer career, claims he needs more time to fulfill his promise to fix the country’s failing institutions, economy, and infrastructure. If re-elected, he has pledged to plow additional roads.
Weah is competing against 19 other presidential candidates after being elected in 2017 after the nation’s first democratic transfer of power in more than 70 years. To avoid a runoff, the winner must get 50% of the total votes cast, plus at least one additional vote.
After a march through Monrovia on Sunday night, Weah declared the end of his campaign and declared his first term successful despite many difficulties.
The iron-ore-rich West African country is still working to recover from two terrible civil wars that occurred between 1989 and 2003 and claimed more than 250,000 lives, as well as an Ebola outbreak that occurred from 2013 to 2016.
“I’m pleased with the track record of accomplishment in a very trying time. We could do a lot with fewer resources and find solutions to numerous structural issues, Weah informed the enthusiastic crowd.
The opposition and Liberia’s international allies have criticized him for not doing more to combat corruption during his first time in power. After the United States penalized them for corruption last year, he sacked his chief of staff and two other top officials.
In his concluding statement, he emphasized other measures to combat corruption, such as appointing impartial members to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission. “In our second term, we plan to increase efforts on our war on corruption,” he stated.
Former Vice President Joseph Boakai, 78, who he defeated in a runoff in 2017, is Weah’s top rival. Boakai has focused his campaign on saving Liberia from what he claims is Weah’s administration’s mismanagement.
Additionally, voters will choose half of the 30 members of the Senate and the 73 seats in the lower house.
Despite the largely calm election campaigning, some skirmishes between supporters of opposing parties have occurred, leading the United Nations rights office to raise worry over election-related violence after two people were killed in September. Several individuals were hurt on Sunday as the capital’s elections concluded when violence broke out between opposing supporters.