Joseph Boakai (pictured) and George Weah also faced off in 2017.  / Photo: Reuters 

Political veteran Joseph Boakai was marginally ahead of incumbent George Weah in the race for the Liberian presidency, with over 99 percent of polling stations reporting, results published Friday showed.

Former vice president Boakai had garnered 50.89% of votes cast, with Weah on 49.11% after over 99.5% of the polling stations had been tallied, said electoral commission president Davidetta Browne Lansanah.

Final results from 25 polling stations were suspended, meaning an unknown number of votes still have to be counted.

The run-off, which followed a first round of voting on October 10, was expected to be close between the two rivals, who also faced off in 2017. More than 2.4 million people are registered to vote.

Political expert Abdullah Kiatamba said it looked almost impossible for former football great Weah to make up the gap.

"The reality at this moment is that given the numbers it is literally impossible to reverse the gain," he told AFP.

"To do so it means the CDC (Weah's party) will need to win numbers that are four or five times the current trend," added Kiatamba.