Liberians vote in second round of presidential elections

Tuesday November 14 2023

A voter casts his ballot at a polling station in Monrovia, Liberia on November 14, 2023. PHOTO | AFP


As Liberians cast their ballots for president on Tuesday, some are sharing their thoughts and expectations for the future.

President George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and former vice president Joseph Boakai of the opposition Unity Party, the top two finishers in the country’s October 10 election, are squaring off in a runoff.

Weah, 57, led the first round in October, gaining 43.83 percent of the vote, and Boakai, 78, had 43.44 percent. Neither candidate reached the required 50 percent needed to secure an outright victory.

Read: Liberia heads to second round in tight polls

The two met in another runoff election in 2017 when Weah won.

Voter Jackson Tuazama of Monrovia told VOA the campaign has been full of negative propaganda.


"The difference between 2017 and now is desperation," he said.

"People are over-zealous and over-ambitious and are not being honest to political system currently. Both sides — the CDC and UP — are overzealous, and for that reason people are doing negative propaganda. In 2017, there were no tribal politics, but now we are seeing (everything as) tribal. There is a high level of hate which is very bad for any emerging democracy," he added.

Young people make up a majority of Liberia’s population. Joseph Kumen, a student at the African Episcopal University, said he will be voting for the candidate who can promise improved educational opportunities.

"We all deserve a better Liberia in my view," he said.

"We all deserve a place to call home. We all deserve development, and all I expect is a good and better Liberia for us tomorrow."

"We the youth. Education should be given to everyone no matter who you are (but) some do not have the money. They do not have opportunities. So, that’s the kind of (improvement) I expect," he said.

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Boakai Kamara, a young motorcyclist, said his expectations were not met in the 2017 elections and the administration of President Weah. He said because of that failure, hardship has grown across Liberia.

"I am an electrician but for now, (and) I am riding a motorbike for my family to survive," he said. "We, the youth, wanted more companies to have come to Liberia rather than us riding bikes. We want much more."

"Everyone is complaining about the present government. Hardship is increasing on a daily basis giving us stress," Kamara added.

Like Kamara, Liberians say they hope their vote will usher in a better economy and boost development.