MONROVIA – Violence marred the close of Liberia’s October 10, 2023, presidential and legislative elections, with scuffles between President George Manneh Weah’s supporters and members of the opposition All Liberia Coalition Party (ALCOP) breaking out during the climax of campaign activities at ALCOP headquarters on the Japan Freeway on Sunday, October 8, 2023.
During the scuffles, Smart News counted at least five men with injuries, some with large gashes on their heads.
Supporters of Weah’s Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), and members from the opposition ALCOP of Lusinee F. Kamara, threw stones at each other, and in response, police fired tear gas.
The main political parties have pledged peaceful polls, but the deaths of three people in clashes last month between rival political camps have fuelled fears of electoral violence in the country, which suffered back-to-back civil wars between 1989 and 2003 that left more than 250,000 people dead.
Peace and development have been listed among voters’ top priorities before they head to the first round of voting on Tuesday.
To win, a candidate must get at least 50 percent plus one of the votes cast.
If no party reaches that threshold, the two parties with the most votes in the first round will proceed to a run-off election that is won by a simple majority.
President Weah, who is up against 19 presidential candidates, gathered thousands of people in the capital on Sunday for the final act of his campaign.
Weah came to power promising to create jobs and invest in education, but critics say he has failed to meet his pledges.