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Liberia’s President George Weah and his main rival Joseph Boakai are still tied with 43.8% of the vote, with Boakai on 43.5%. The election was Liberia’s closest since a civil war ended two decades ago.
The election commission released the latest results after votes had been counted in more than 98% of polling stations, giving Weah a slim lead of 5,456 votes. Voting is set to be repeated in some parts of Sinoe, Nimba, and Montserrado counties on Friday after ballots were tampered with by unknown people.
None of the 18 other presidential candidates received more than 3% in the first round, and the two main candidates are likely to seek their endorsement. Weah, a former international football star, is seeking a second term as president. He won a run-off in the 2017 poll with 61.5% to Boakai’s 38.5%. A run-off will be held on 7 November after the announcement of official results.
Analysts say this might be the last attempt at the presidency for Boakai, who served as vice-president in the government of then-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to achieve peace and stability in Liberia following a brutal civil war. He waged his campaign under the slogan “Rescue”, arguing that the West African state went downhill during Weah’s first six years in office.