Hoping to free their country from violence and instability, Liberians vote in legislative and presidential elections today. It is the first such ballot since the end of a 14 year civil war.
A millionaire former soccer star, ex-warlords, wealthy lawyers and a Harvard-educated economist are all running for the presidency of the West African country. There are 22 candidates in total. Candidates are promising to keep the peace, revitalise the economy and tore-establish state-run water and electricity services. Former AC Milan striker George Weah is seen by many as the front runner in the election. His slum-to-palace background is an attraction although critics say he has neither the education or management skills to run a country. He does, however, offer a total break with Liberia’s political past. His main rival is Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who has a long history in Liberian politics and experience with the UN and World Bank. She is seen by many as a strong administrator. More than 400 international observers are monitoring the polls.