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Boycott and unrest marrs Liberia election

Boycott and unrest marrs Liberia election
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Tuesday’s presidential election in Liberia is going ahead despite the violence before the poll and calls for a boycott.

Early in the day, turnout was low in the capital Monrovia, but that should not stop incumbent Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf from winning a second term. She won 44 per cent of the vote in the first round and has won the support of the third-placed candidate.

Some people patiently waited at polling stations, urged to participate by the electoral commission.

Local polling observer Senesee Freeman was hopeful more people would arrive: “As people leave the polling station with their voter cards and their fingers marked with ink, that will encourage others to come.”

Those who may not come are the supporters of the president’s main rival Winston Tubman. He is refusing to take part in the election, claiming fraud took place in the first round. However these allegations have been dismissed, with the previous vote internationally recognised as free and fair.

UN peacekeepers are in Liberia to prevent the violence that left at least one person dead on the eve of the second round of voting.