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Liberia One Step Closer to First Female African President

Liberians voted last Tuesday for the first time since the 14-year civil war ravaged the country under Charles Taylor. Since none of the 22 candidates received a majority vote, a runoff has been set for November 8 to decide between Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and George Weah.

Johnson-Sirleaf, 66, is a Harvard-educated economist with an impressive resume that includes the World Bank and United Nations. She would be Africas first elected female president if she wins the run-off next month, although she faces heavy competition with Weah, a former soccer star. The October 11 election was close, with Weah leading by 28 percent and Johnson-Sirleaf following close behind with 20 percent of votes.

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Media Resources: The New York Times 10/19/2005; The Mercury News 10/17/2005; Feminist Daily News Wire 10/10/2005