Weah takes lead as less than half of Liberia's election results emerge

Montserrado County

The former Fifa World Footballer of the Year has long turned a politician with aspiration to be Liberia's President.

If eventually confirmed as victor of the presidential election, George Weah has an onerous task of stepping into Sirleaf's shoes.

The former AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique de Marseille striker needs to achieve at least 50 percent of the votes to be declared the victor.

A runoff election was widely expected with 20 candidates vying to replace Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female president.

The Carter Center, which observed elections, commended Liberians "for the calm and peaceful atmosphere" of the vote.

The National Election Commission said local vote counting had ended after a largely smooth election. He defeated Robert Sirleaf, son of President Sirleaf.

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President Sirleaf has held the role for 12 years, the maximum time allowed by Liberian Constitution.

"Well done, George, and I would say just for him to keep his enthusiasm and his desire to learn and to win", Wenger, who managed Weah for four years at Monaco, said, according to the BBC.

Other top presidential candidates include longtime opposition figure Charles Brumskine who heads the Liberty Party (LP) as well as former Coca-Cola executive Alexander Cummings.

The head of the Ecowas 71-member election observation mission to Liberia, John Mahama has described the October 10 presidential and parliamentary elections as largely free and fair.In a statement in Monrovia on Wednesday, Mr. Mahama said Liberians had seized the opportunity to exercise their sovereign right to decide who leads them in a mature and orderly manner that has vindicated the confidence of the global community in the process.

About 2.2 million Liberians, slightly less than half of the country's population, registered to vote.

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