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Liberia votes to choose Ellen Johnson Sirleaf successor

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Liberians are going to the polls to choose a successor to Africa’s first elected female president and Nobel Peace laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Ex-football star George Weah and Vice-President Joseph Boakai are the main contenders in the race to succeed her.

Liberia, founded by freed US slaves in the 19th Century, has not had a smooth transfer of power in 73 years.

Ms Sirleaf urged people to vote peacefully in a nation still recovering from a 14-year civil war.

“Your vote is about you and your family – not party, ethnicity,” she said in an address to to the nation.

A total of 20 presidential candidates are running to succeed Ms Sirleaf.

They include Alex Cummings, a former Coca-Cola executive, and MacDella Cooper, a former model and ex-girlfriend of Mr Weah.

Ms Sirleaf, 78, is stepping down at the end of her two terms.