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Last Updated: Monday, 17 October 2005, 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK
Liberia vote goes to second round
Liberia ballot boxes and election official
Election day was widely praised for having passed peacefully
Liberians will vote again in a second round of presidential elections after last week's ballot proved inconclusive, the country's election commission said.

Former soccer star George Weah has won almost 29% of the vote, with ballots from 90% of polling stations counted.

However, this will be short of the 51% he needed for an outright win.

Mr Weah is now set to face nearest rival Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in November to decide who becomes Liberia's first elected head since the civil war ended.

Ms Johnson-Sirleaf, a former finance minister and veteran opposition politician, has secured nearly 20% of the votes counted so far - a fair way ahead of the third-placed candidate Charles Brumskine.

Historic election

Final results for the first round are expected by the end of the week.

PARTIAL RESULTS
George Weah: 28.9%
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf: 19.7%
Charles Brumskine: 13.4%

2,781 polling stations declared

The run-off vote is scheduled for 8 November, the head of the electoral commission, Frances Johnson Morris, said.

Correspondents say the two leading contenders will be seeking support from some of the 20 other initial candidates as they approach the next ballot.

Observers praised the conduct of voting and lack of violence on election day last week.

The commission said that turnout from the 3,000 polling stations to have their results ratified was 74.1% of 1.35m registered voters.

'Peace vote'

Results have been posted at individual polling stations around the country.

Liberia's post-election challenges

The BBC's Mark Doyle in Monrovia said the process of collecting results from the polling stations has taken 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.

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




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