Liberians Still Waiting for Presidential Election Results

National Election Commission headquarters is pictured in Monrovia, Liberia, Dec. 28, 2017.
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Liberians are waiting to find out who will be their next president as officials continued to tally votes from the West African nation’s runoff election.

Former soccer star George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai are vying to replace President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is stepping down after two terms, the maximum allowed under Liberia’s constitution.

Former soccer star George Weah, Presidential candidate for the Coalition for Democratic Change cast his vote during a Presidential election in Monrovia, Liberia. Tuesday Oct. 10, 2017. Liberians gathered in masses under the bright sun Tuesday to vote in an election that for the first time in more than 70 years will see one democratically elected government hand power to another. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)

The National Electoral Commission said on Facebook that the results will likely be announced Thursday.

Poll workers said turnout Tuesday appeared to be lower than the October 10 election in which Boakai and Weah were the top vote-getters, qualifying them for the runoff election.

FILE – Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Liberia’s vice president and presidential candidate of Unity Party (UP), votes at a polling station in Monrovia.

Observers said polling stations were better organized than during the October vote, and there were few reports of problems. The National Elections Commission said a woman who tried to vote twice was caught and arrested.

Both Weah and Boakai have built their campaigns around job creation, education and building infrastructure.

Critics of Boakai, 73, have accused him of doing little as Johnson Sirleaf’s vice president. Critics of Weah, 51, said he has almost no real political or governing experience.

Weah’s running mate is Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor. She is the ex-wife of former rebel leader and president Charles Taylor, who sparked Liberia’s civil war in 1989 and is serving a 50-year prison sentence in Britain for his role in atrocities in Sierra Leone.

Taylor still has supporters in Liberia, and his ex-wife is credited with helping Weah win key counties in the first round of voting.

Pollsters said ahead of Tuesday’s election the race was too close to call.

If all goes smoothly, Liberia will see its first peaceful and democratic transfer of power in more than 70 years.