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Liberia to get new President today

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A new Liberian President will be known today following Tuesday’s presidential runoff election.

The National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia set today’s date for the announcement of official provisional results.

The run-off was between former FIFA World Football of the Year Senator George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai. The winner will succeed outgoing President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

Spokesman of the commission Henry Flomo who announced the date yesterday, said tallying of votes was ongoing at different centres across the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Liberians are eagerly awaiting announcement of the official results by NEC.

The NEC has  warned parties and the media against declaring unofficial results.

Preliminary results trickling in from collation centres across the country through radio stations yesterday indicated that Weah was in early lead.

As of the time of filing this report at 7.30 p.m. Liberian time (1930 GMT), Weah was ahead in three counties (Bomi, Margibi and Grand Bassa) with over 50 per cent of the votes processed so far.

Reports from different parts of the country indicate that supporters of Weah were already celebrating his purported victory.

The ECOWAS Election Observation Mission to Liberia called on NEC to “work diligently and expedite action on the proclamation of results to avoid creating anxiety’’.

Head of the mission and former President of Ghana John Mahama made the call at a news conference in Monrovia last night.

He also urged the electoral umpire to conduct the concluding part of the process with “fairness, openness and transparency until the proclamation of results’’.

UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, has sent former President Olusegun Obasanjo to Liberia to support a peaceful transfer power to a democratically-elected president.

Guterres, who announced this yesterday in New York through his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, also welcomed the peaceful conduct of the second round of the presidential election in Liberia.

“The Secretary-General hopes that the will of the Liberian electorate will be respected and that a seamless transfer of power will take place within constitutional timelines,” the statement said.

Guterres had requested Obasanjo, who is a member of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation, to travel to the capital Monrovia, from today till Saturday.

Obasanjo is one of 18 global leaders, senior officials and experts on the high-level board created earlier this year to advise the Secretary-General on mediation and back those efforts around the world.

The former President of Nigeria was involved in mediation efforts in Angola, Burundi, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa, among others.

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