Liberians rally in support of opposition leader ahead of presidential elections

Thousands of people gathered in Liberia's capital Monrovia as opposition leader Joseph Boakai launched his campaign ahead of October elections that will test the popularity of ex-football star President George Weah after a chaotic first term.

Supporters of softly spoken Boakia, 78, who came second to Weah in 2017 elections and who has been dubbed "Sleepy Joe" by detractors for allegedly napping at public events, braved the rain at a stadium to dance, wave flags and demand change.

Present were some former Weah fans disillusioned by what they said was his failure to improve living standards or stamp out corruption in the impoverished West African country that has been hit this century by a civil war, a devastating Ebola outbreak, and downturns in commodities prices.

It remains to be seen if Boakai and his Unity Party can turn the tide. Weah remains popular across much of the country, and the economy grew nearly 5% last year, driven by gains in agriculture and mining, the World Bank says.

(Source: Reuters)


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