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Liberia’s landmark presidential poll

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Initial results were expected on December 28 in Liberia’s landmark presidential poll, the country’s first democratic transfer of power in decades, pitting former footballer George Weah against Vice-President Joseph Boakai. Whoever wins will succeed Africa’s first elected female head of state, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who took over at the helm of the small west African nation in 2006. Ms. Sirleaf’s predecessor Charles Taylor fled the country in 2003, hoping to avoid prosecution for funding rebel groups in neighbouring Sierra Leone, while two Presidents who served prior to Mr. Taylor were assassinated. The tumultuous events of the past seven decades in Liberia, where an estimated 250,000 people died during back-to-back civil wars between 1989-2003, means a democratic handover has not taken place since 1944. (G.N.S) Dt. 28

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