Ecowas gives clean bill of health to Liberian election

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf casts her vote in Bomi County

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf casts her vote in Bomi County

George Weah, 1995 FIFA's Player of the year and Ballon d'Or victor, is awaiting the official result of the Liberian presidential elections as he vies to replace the current head of state Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Sirleaf has been the President of Liberia since 2006 following 14 years of a deadly civil war during the reign of the now incarcerated former President Charles Taylor, who was ousted by rebels in 2003.

Earlier on Thursday, observers from the Economic Community of West African States urged the electoral commission to speed up the release of provisional results to "prevent further anxiety", according to a statement read to reporters.

"I would like to congratulate one of my former players, who became president of Liberia, George Weah", said Wenger in a press conference.

Global observers in the West African nation said the vote went smoothly despite late starts in some counties. A run-off vote will be scheduled in November if none of the 20 candidates garners a 50 percent majority. More than 2.1 million voters had registered to vote throughout Liberia, established by the United States in the 19th century for freed black slaves.

The election commission is ready to listen to official complaints but vote-counting will continue, spokesman Henry Boyd Flomo said.

Tuesday's election will mark the first time in 73 years that a democratically-elected president will peacefully hand over power to a successor chosen by Liberian voters. A runoff election, if needed, would come two weeks after that announcement.

"Almost all Liberians that turned out to vote were able to cast their ballots", said Christopher Fomunyoh, senior associate for Africa at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.

"All of these people are saying they want change and improvement, and that explains why nearly all of the candidates are presenting themselves as candidates for change", Fomunyoh said.

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