Liberia’s President Faces Runoff Vote

Posted October 17th, 2011 at 8:50 am (UTC-5)
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Liberia's president says she is ready for a run-off vote, after falling short of the majority needed to win last week's presidential election outright.

With nearly all the ballots counted, Liberia's National Elections Commission said Monday that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has garnered 44 percent of the vote. Her top rival, former Justice Minister Winston Tubman, has won just over 32 percent.

Former rebel leader and current Senator Prince Johnson came in third with nearly 12 percent.

The latest tallies represent results from about 97 percent of all polling stations. Election officials have said they do not expect any candidate to get more than the 50 percent of the votes cast.

The second-round election is scheduled for November 8.

Election observers from the U.S.-based Carter Center and the Economic Community of West African States say the vote was largely free and fair.

On Sunday, Mr. Tubman and other opposition members called off a threat to boycott a run-off election, after learning that no candidate had won enough votes to avoid a second-round poll.

But they cautioned the National Election Commission to be very careful to avoid any fraud in the run-off.

The October 11 vote was Liberia's second national election since the end of a 14-year civil war in 2003.