Liberia's election: how it works

Supporters of Liberian presidential candidate and ex-football international George Weah dance near his home in Monrovia
Supporters of Liberian presidential candidate and ex-football international George Weah dance near his home in Monrovia
Image: AFP

Following are key points in Liberia's presidential run-off on Tuesday:

- US model -

Africa's first republic was founded by freed slaves from the United States and retains similarities with the US political system, though there are significant variations.

Presidential and vice-presidential candidates run on a joint ticket for six-year terms.

Elections are overseen by the autonomous National Elections Commission (NEC).

- Run-off -

Liberia operates a two-round voting system for presidential elections.

If no single candidate gets more than 50 percent of votes in the first round, the two candidates with the highest number of votes will face a run-off.

A run-off was held this year after the top two placing candidates, George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai, both fell well short of 50 percent of votes.

The incumbent, Africa's first elected female leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, cannot run having served the maximum two terms.

- Timings -

Polling stations open at 8:00 am (0800 GMT) and close at 6:00pm for Liberia's 2.1 million registered voters.

- Observers -

The European Union, African Union and regional Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have all deployed observer missions to ensure the elections are held in free and fair circumstances.

Disputed results caused violence in the last election in 2011 and this will be the first vote entirely overseen by Liberia's police and army, without the support of UN peacekeepers.

- Results -

Official provisional results are expected within 48 hours. The new president is expected to be inaugurated on January 22.

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