In the first free election in recent years, the country of Liberia has received accolades from United Nations leadership on the efforts.
“The Secretary-General commends the efforts of the National Elections Commission and security institutions for this important milestone in the history of Liberia,” said a statement issued by his Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric. “United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed Tuesday’s peaceful holding of the presidential and House of Representatives elections in Liberia and reiterated the continued support of the UN to the consolidation of peace and democracy in the West African country.”
The sentiments of applause also come after the United Nations concluded one of its more successful peacekeeping operations that enveloped the Liberian government to follow the discretion of the UN since 2003. As apart of the UN’s exit strategy during the operation, they handed over the control of the government and the general law and order functions back to the government, police forces, and military in 2016.
Now, after a provisional leader paved the way for elections, Liberia could have a new, democratically elected chief executive and representative body.
George Weah, ex-popular soccer (football) player and sitting lawmaker, with incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai, have taken early leads as ballots come piling in and polling stations begin to report.
The National Election Commission still has yet to release the latest results; however, the election will prove pivotal in an ensuring stability throughout the country and the region of West Africa.
If a candidate doesn’t win at least fifty percent of the voter turnout, the top vote-getters will be sent to a runoff election who would determine overall victory.
For the legislative race, there are nearly 1000 candidates vying for a seat in the country’s House of Representatives. Currently, the body only allows for seventy-three seats.
According to the above-mentioned UN press release, this election witnessed “the people of Liberia who turned out enthusiastically in high numbers to vote, and commended the Liberian women’s groups for their active and important role in the electoral process.”
More results will be released in due time; however, the timeline remains to be unestablished.
In the Western hemisphere, Arsenal FC’s manager Arsene Wenger was mistaken by reports that reported Weah’s victory.
According to the BBC, Mr. Wenger said: “I would like to congratulate one of my former players, who became president of Liberia.”
Further west, the Trump Presidency appears to have shown indirect support for Boakai, according to a report from allAfrica.com.
“I believe in the leadership of Vice President Boakai and his ability to lead your nation with courage, with hope and with peace,” Trump’s spiritual adviser Paula White said in a video message to Liberians on September 27. “Vice President [Joseph] Boakai is a man of Stature and a great man of integrity. His faith in God will guide him into the coming years of leadership. Should the people of Liberia elect him on the 10 of October, I am praying for peace and prosperity for the nation of Liberia.”
The story is still developing.