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The African Elections Project :  your authoritative African Elections Information and Knowledge online portal, covering elections across the continent

Projecto Eleições Africanas: seu portal autorizado para informação e conhecimento sobre Eleições Africanas. Cobrindo eleições por toda Áfrca.

Le projet sur les elections en Afrique: votre portail exclusif et credible d'information et de connaissance en ligne, qui couvre les élections à travers le continent
Date:10 Oct 2017
Polls open in highly contested #LiberiaElections

Polls have opened in the much awaited Liberia presidential and legislative elections as voters seek to elect a new president to replace Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who is stepping down after serving 2 constitutionally mandated terms. It will be the first time Liberians will transfer power from one democratically elected leader to another in more than 70 years.

Voters will choose from 20 candidates a new leader who will take the reins of government for the next 6 years and also elect 73 members for the national legislature.

As early as 5.00am AEP reporters spoke to eager voters who had already started forming queues with some marking their spots with stones

Wewe Jones a first time voter told our reporter that this is the first time she is voting and she does not want to spend too long in the queue and when she is done casting her ballot, she wants to go to other polling stations to see how others are voting.

Another first time voter said “this elections is very critical for Liberia as it will ensure stability and show the world how mature Liberia has become in terms of democracy and peace”

So far, there has not been any reported case of violence or irregularity and most voters are patiently going through the process.

This elections will be the first to be solely managed by Liberians since 1985 as the UN hands over the security and organization of the elections to Liberians. The President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has described the polls as a test of the political maturity of Liberians and in a late night broadcast on the eve of the elections, she called on all Liberians to “respect the outcome of the election as declared by the National Electoral Commission. The NEC has established a system that is accountable, transparent and based upon the highest standards available.”

The 20 candidates contesting the presidential seat are made up of 19 males and 1 female. The list contains the current vice president, a football legend, a former warlord, a fashion model, seasoned politicians and a host of businesspersons.

Polls are expected to close at 6am. However voters in the queue before 6am will be allowed to vote. In all 2,183,629 registered voters will be voting in 5390 polling places across the country. Key issues at stake include fighting corruption, job creation, infrastructure development and reconciliation.


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