"I have my favorite, I have already voted, but I like all the candidates." "I'll be proud to come out." Jose is a goalkeeper for the Bong County football team, the land of former president Charles Taylor, now imprisoned in Britain for war crimes, and his message, a mixture of fear and prudence, reflects the cravings for peace of many Liberians, who this Tuesday They voted in droves to elect president in the first Pacific power relay in seven decades. The results, which are predictably close to the polls, will be known on October 25. If neither of the two favorites (the current vice-president, Joseph Boakai, and the popular footballer George WEAH) achieves the absolute majority, a second round will be required.
He voted in the same stadium where he played football, turned Tuesday into a crowded electoral college. The majority of Liberians have not known a peaceful relief in the country's presidency — 73 years ago that did not happen — and the excitement mingled with the fear generated by the fresh memory of the war. Not in vain, several of the 20 aspirants — a single woman among them — have ties to the bloodiest past.
Links with the war in Gbartala, the capital of Bong, is where he began his revolution and trained his children soldier Charles Taylor, the last president of the Civil War, which was developed in two almost consecutive conflicts between the years 1990 and 2000. The popular Weah, the only African Gold Ball (1995), has received the support of the bloodthirsty Taylor and also proposes to the wife of this, Jewel Howard Taylor, as vice president if he wins the election.
It is the second time that Weah is presented to the Presidency; The first, in 2005, lost to Ellen Jonhson-Sirleaf, a Nobel peace laureate in 2011 and outgoing president. Unlike neighbouring Sierra Leone, who judged war crimes in a special court, Liberia privilegeded Reconciliation against the persecution of crimes. So, someone like Prince Johnson, the rebel leader who overthrew and assassinated President Samuel K. Doe in front of the cameras, can be counted today among the 20 presidential candidates.
Before the polls opened, Sirleaf went to the Liberian people asking them to preserve the peace. "Accept your neighbor, regardless of your political choice," he asked.
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