The campaign for Liberia’s presidential and legislative elections commenced on Saturday, with the current President George Weah vying for a second six-year term in a nation grappling with substantial economic difficulties.
The 2017 election of ex-footballer Weah brought about great optimism in the West African country, which was in the process of recuperating from an Ebola epidemic and the lingering effects of civil conflicts spanning from 1989 to 2003.
In January, the 56-year-old declared his intention to run for re-election in the October 10th vote. In this election, he will contend with 19 competitors, including former Vice President Joseph Boakai, businessman Alexander Cummings, and human rights lawyer Taiwan Gongloe.
Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC) has granted accreditation to 46 parties for the upcoming polls, with over 2.4 million voters registered to participate.
A statement broadcasted on national radio by the NEC formally proclaimed the commencement of the campaign on Saturday, which is slated to persist until midnight on October 8th.
NEC Chair Davidetta Browne Lansanah appealed to Liberians to engage in the political campaign in a peaceful manner.
To secure victory, a candidate must amass a minimum of 50 percent plus one of the total votes cast.
If no party manages to attain that threshold, the two parties with the highest vote counts in the initial round advance to a run-off election, with victory determined by a simple majority.
The West African country, with a population of approximately five million, had just started to rebound from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic when the economic repercussions of the conflict in Ukraine struck its economy.
According to the World Bank, approximately half of the Liberian population survives on less than $1.90 per day.
Weah assumed power with promises of job creation and education investment, but critics argue that he has not fulfilled his commitments.