Liberians expect provisional election results as vote counting goes on

Montserrado County

Mr Weah was among 20 presidential candidates in Tuesday's election.

"It's not often that you have a former player who becomes a president of a country".

The National Election Commission said local vote counting had ended after a largely smooth election.

The former Fifa World Footballer of the Year failed in his two previous attempts but is one of the front-runners to replace President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger took a minute out of his press conference on Thursday to congratulate George Weah on winning Liberia's presidential election.

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There were 986 aspirants for the 73 seats in the House of representatives. Voters commended her leadership, but also said they are ready for change when they lined up for Tuesday's historic vote.

Global observers in the West African nation said the vote went smoothly despite late starts in some counties.

About 2.2 million Liberians, slightly less than half of the country's population, registered to vote.

Vice-President Joseph Boakai and footballer George Weah are seen as the frontrunners to succeed the Nobel Peace Prize victor Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who led the country's recovery from Ebola and civil war.

The election in the West African nation could see Liberia transfer power from one elected president to another for the first time in more than half a century. The turnout was impressive, especially among the younger generations, said Christopher Fomunyoh, of the United States funded National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, which is monitoring the elections. "All of these people are saying they want change and improvement, and that explains why nearly all of the candidates are presenting themselves as candidates for change".

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