LIBERIANS have voted into office Africa's first elected female president, with Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the former finance minister, seeing off a challenge from George Weah, a former world footballer of the year.
With votes counted from nearly 90 per cent of the polling stations, the National Elections Commission (NEC) said Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf had won 59.2 per cent of the vote, while Mr Weah was on 40.8 per cent.
Election officials said they would investigate allegations of fraud made by the former footballer, but international observers who monitored the poll said preliminary findings indicated it was fair.
Frances Johnson-Morris, the chairwoman of the NEC, told reporters that the commission had received a formal fraud complaint from Mr Weah's campaign, but did not release details. "We'll do everything to expedite the investigation into this complaint," she said.
Mr Weah has accused poll workers of having plans to stuff ballot boxes in Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf's favour.
However, Jemima Caulcrick, a top official with Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf's Unity Party, said: "It's all lies. They're saying that because they know we will win. They just don't want a woman to be president in Africa."
Mr Weah has repeatedly been critical of the NEC and Ms Johnson-Morris, who is not related to Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf.
UN officials and others have praised the vote. Max van den Berg, head of a European Union observer mission, said the vote "has been well administered in a peaceful, transparent and orderly manner".
David Carroll, from the United States-based Carter Centre, said that while "minor irregularities" had been noted, "none of our observers saw any serious problems".
Thank You LORD!