BBC NEWS | Africa | Liberians choose post-war leader
Posted On November 8, 2005
Anyone out there following the Liberian elections like I told you to?? Why, you ask? OK, I’ll break it down – Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ivory Coast are all on edge… some areas are more stable than others, but it wouldn’t take much to put a spark in the hayloft. There are a lot of dissatisfied young men with time on their hands – no jobs, no electricity, no running water, no ability to read – and many of them are former child combatants.
Liberia’s ex-warlord, Charles Taylor, is comfortably waiting in Nigeria for an opportunity. He still has plenty of money and power.
The election has come down to the “Iron Lady” and the soccer player [who dropped out of high school]. Does “Africa’s Greatest Footballer” really have what it takes??
Votes are being counted in Liberia’s presidential run-off – the first since the end of 14 years of civil war.
Ex-football star George Weah is facing Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf – seeking to be Africa’s first elected female leader.
Correspondents say turnout seemed more subdued than in the first round, when voters swamped polling booths.
With much of the country’s infrastructure destroyed during the war, final results could take up to two weeks to come in from remote areas.
Voting went smoothly and, according to UN peacekeepers who are monitoring the poll, there have been no reports of trouble.
The BBC’s Mark Doyle in Monrovia says the race between the two candidates is too close to call.
Some voters arrived at polling stations four hours before they opened.