Liberia on Thursday was set to learn the results of a landmark presidential poll pitting former football star George Weah against Vice President Joseph Boakai in the first democratic transfer of power after decades and two devastating civil wars.
Whoever wins will succeed the continent’s first elected female head of state, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who took over at the helm of Africa’s oldest republic in 2006.
The National Election Commission said a press conference was scheduled at 1745 GMT without giving any details.
Armed and helmeted police were deployed outside the poll body’s headquarters and Weah’s supporters were already rejoicing.
“The Liberian people clearly made their choice and all together we are very confident in the result of the electoral process,” tweeted Weah.
He topped the first round of voting in October with 38.4% of ballots but failed to win the 50% necessary to avoid a run-off. Boakai came second with 28.8%.
Weah is the only African ever to have won FIFA’s World Player of the Year and the coveted Ballon D’Or.
The 51-year-old starred at top-flight European football clubs Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan in the 1990s before playing briefly in England for Chelsea and Manchester City later in his career.
Chelsea icon Didier Drogba has already sent Weah a congratulatory message.
But Boakai, a 72-year-old public servant of four decades standing, said it was too early to crow victory.
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