Voting for presidential and parliamentary elections began Tuesday in Liberia with incumbent George Weah, a former soccer legend turned politician, seeking reelection.
Weah, 57, is competing with a total of 19 candidates, who hope to replace him for the West African country’s top Job.
According to the National Elections Commission of Liberia, 2.4 million people are eligible to vote in 5,890 voting places.
Weah’s main challenger in Tuesday’s polls is 78-year-old former Vice President Joseph Boakai, who is contesting for a second time after he lost to Weah in the 2017 runoff elections.
Local media has reported long queues of voters lined up at polling stations waiting to cast their ballots.
Weah is seeking reelection after completing a six-year term in office that critics claim has been marred by corruption and poor service delivery, but the incumbent lists some of his administration’s successes such as investment in education, building roads and providing electricity among others.
The Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) and the Joint Security said they have temporarily closed the country's borders to ensure the integrity and fairness of the country’s elections, according to local media reports.
Around 2.4 million voters in Liberia are eligible to cast their ballots.
To avoid a runoff, the winner must secure 50% of votes cast, plus at least one more vote.
Wrapping up his campaign after a parade across the capital Monrovia on Sunday evening, Weah cast his first term as a success despite significant challenges.
The iron-ore rich West African nation is still struggling to emerge from two devastating civil wars between 1989 and 2003, that killed over 250,000 people, and a 2013-16 Ebola epidemic that killed thousands.
Weah has faced criticism from the opposition and Liberia's international partners for not doing enough to tackle corruption during his first term in office.
Last year, he fired his chief of staff and two other senior officials after the United States sanctioned them for corruption.