Liberia to go to the polls on Tuesday

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Liberia goes into the Presidential election on Tuesday, in an election which has been dubbed as those of two divided ideological grounds.

And as the leaders from different political parties wrapped up their rallies, a huge voter turnout is expected.

Parties contesting the elections are the ruling Unity Party led by Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Coalition for Democratic Change led by former football star George Weah and Alternative National Congress under the leadership of Alexander Benedict Cummings.

The election will be the first democratic transfer of power in Liberia since the 70s.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was slowly rebuilding Liberia’s economy when the Ebola epidemic broke out in 2014.

The disease killed nearly 5 000 people in Liberia, and a total of 11,000 people in West Africa as it swept through the neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone infecting more more than 20,000 people.

Liberia was declared ebola-free in June 2015 when Johnson Sirleaf said the country needed two years to regain its economic footing as commodity prices had also slumped.

Although the Unity Party has maintained peace and stability in Liberia, voters complain of corruption, lack of jobs and a poor education system.

All three leaders have dangled their promises to the voters.

In the final campaign rally, Boaki, the 72-year-old UP candidate urged supporters to vote for continuity. Cummings and Weah promised to improve economic growth and living conditions in the country.

Cummings, said he would manage the country so all Liberians would benefit.

Twenty candidates are standing to replace Johnson Sirleaf in a first round on Tuesday.

With nobody likely to win a majority outright, the top two are expected to face each other in a run-off in a few weeks time.

Liberia, a nation founded in the 19th century by freed American slaves, had a long and historical relationship with the United States.

– By SABC TV News