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Liberia Announces Runoff Election Between Weah, Boakai

A man casts his vote during the first round of presidential elections in Monrovia, Liberia, Oct. 10, 2017.

A runoff vote for the presidency of Liberia will be held between former footballer George Weah and incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai, the electoral commission said Sunday.

With over 95 percent of votes counted in the West African country, Weah has taken 39.0 percent of the votes and Boakai 29.1 percent - neither of them near the 50 percent required to win the presidency outright after the first round of voting last week.

Voters cast their ballots Tuesday, marking the West African nation’s first smooth transition of power from one democratically elected leadership to another in more than 70 years.

The country's 2.1 million registered voters were choosing the successor to Nobel Peace laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female elected head of state, who is stepping down after serving two six-year terms, as mandated by Liberia's constitution.

Sirleaf has led Liberia through a period of peace in the aftermath of a 14-year civil war that ended in 2003. But the country remains plagued by corruption and is still trying to recover from the Ebola crisis that killed 5,000 people in 2014 and 2015.

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