Liberia’s National Elections Commission has begun finalising the results of Tuesday’s presidential and legislative polls.
Boxes carrying ballot papers have been brought to the NEC’s Data Centre where officials will electronically tabulate the results.
“So yesterday, elections were conducted. Counting went on and those results were pasted on the wall,” said Isaac Zahn, director of the centre.
“Copies of those results are then brought to the tally centre and entered into the results tally software. Before we do that, we make photocopies. We give to all the observers and party agents present.”
The election was the first to be held since the United Nations ended its peacekeeping mission in Liberia in 2018.
Despite some clashes ahead of the vote, both local and regional election observers say polling was peaceful and voter turnout was high.
“Only when the National Elections Commission announces a result can those results be the actual results,” said NEC president, Davidetta Browne-Lansanah.
Football legend, George Weah, is hoping to win a second term in office but will have to secure more than 50 per cent to avoid a run-off.
Some analysts believe, however, that he will likely have to face a second round against his main rival from the 2017 election, Joseph Boakai.
While the beloved soccer star has been hugely popular, his six years in office have been marred by corruption allegations and ongoing economic hardship.
Boakai has campaigned on promises to rescue Liberia from what he described as Weah’s failed leadership.
Some 2,4 million people were eligible to vote in the polls. The country is still struggling to emerge from two civil wars that killed over 250,000 people between 1989 and 2003.
The election commission is expected to announce the first results later on Wednesday, with final results due within 15 days.