Former soccer star George Weah leads in partial presidential election results in 11 of Liberia’s 15 counties, the electoral commission said on Thursday, after a vote meant to bring about the country’s first democratic transfer of power in decades.
Early results from Tuesday’s poll read to reporters by the commission’s chairman left Weah’s camp confident he would win the outright majority he needs to avoid a run-off, even though most counties had reported tallies from less than a third of polling stations.
“I can say for sure that Ambassador George Manneh Weah is going to be the next president of the Republic of Liberia,” Weah’s adviser Mulbah Morlu told Reuters. “The people of Liberia have spoken.”
Before the commission’s announcement, parties backing three other candidates alleged fraud and vowed to contest the results. But international observers said they had seen no major problems with the vote.
“The overall conduct of the voting was generally assessed as either good or very good,” the EU mission said in a statement on Thursday.
Observers from the U.S.-based Carter Center and National Democratic Institute (NDI) also said they had not identified any major issues with the voting or subsequent counting.
The allegations of irregularities centered on charges that extra ballots were printed in advance and marked with votes for Boakai from the ruling Unity Party of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
However, none of the parties provided evidence of cheating. A Unity Party leader declined to respond to the accusations.