[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 16 October 2005, 03:07 GMT 04:07 UK
Weah maintains Liberia poll lead
Results are being posted at each polling station
Official results are slowly emerging from Liberia's historic elections on Tuesday following the 14-year civil war which ended in 2003.

With votes counted from more than 80% of the 3,000 polling stations, one of the favourites for president, ex-footballer George Weah, is ahead.

He has 29.8% of votes counted so far. Another fancied contender, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, has 19.7%.

Observers praised the conduct of voting and lack of violence on Tuesday.

George Weah: 29.8%
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf: 19.7%
Charles Brumskine: 12%

2,457 polling stations declared

Twenty-two candidates are standing, and a second round is scheduled for four weeks time between the top two, unless someone secures more than 50% of the vote.

The commission said that turnout from the polling stations to have their results ratified was 74.6% of 1.35m registered voters.

Election Commission head Frances Johnson Morris said there had been no reports of violence or complaints.

'Peace vote'

Results have been posted at individual polling stations around the country and can be heard blaring from loudspeakers in the central market area in the capital, Monrovia, broadcast by local radio stations.

Liberia's post-election challenges

The BBC's Mark Doyle in Monrovia says that the process of collecting results from the 3,000 polling stations is taking several days in Liberia where there are very few paved roads, no electrical grid and no nationwide telephone system.

In remote areas, United Nations helicopters helped to transport ballot papers.


Many used umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun and complained of waiting for more than five or six hours to vote, but UN forces - first deployed two years ago - helped to calm tempers.

22 presidential candidates
94 seats in two-tier parliament
1.3m registered to vote

Election officials said the process of voting itself took a long time, as each voter had to mark three ballot papers: One for president and vice-president; one for members of the Senate; one for members of the House of Representatives.

The head of the UN mission in Liberia, Alan Doss, said Liberians had "voted for peace".

"At all polling places I visited, I was struck by the patience, the determination and the friendliness displayed by all Liberians as they set about exercising this most precious right and responsibility," he said.

Final results are due to be announced on 26 October. If required, a run-off vote will take place on 8 November.

Voters hope the elections will mark a new page in the country's brutal history.

See the scenes at Liberian polling stations

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific