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They include former footballer Senator George Weah, Vice President Joseph Boakai, former rebel leader Prince Johnson and the only woman in the race, former model Macdella Cooper.

On Wednesday, several persons on Twitter and Facebook, without any official or provisional results, started congratulating football legend George Oppong Weah as the victor of the polls.

His main rival, Vice President, Joseph Boakai, of the ruling Unity Party, collected 160,975 or 31.1 percent of the votes.

Early results from Tuesday's poll read to reporters by the commission's chairman left Weah's camp confident he would win the outright majority he needs to avoid a run-off, even though most counties had reported tallies from less than a third of polling stations.

The results hadn't yet been announced.

He lost the run-off to Sirleaf on 8 November, garnering only 40.6% to 59.4% for Sirleaf. In 2014, he won a Senate seat. He defeated Robert Sirleaf, son of President Sirleaf.

"His former football career helps him a lot". Arsene Wenger, manager of the famed United Kingdom club Arsenal, who handed Weah his first big break in European football, even congratulated Weah on his "victory".

"I would like to congratulate one of my former players, who became president of Liberia", Wenger beamed.

Over the 12-year period she has been in office, the 78-year-old of head of state has received numerous accolades and condemnations in nearly equal measure.

"It is not often that you have a former player who becomes a president of a country", Wenger was quoted on the online platform. 2,183,683 people registered to vote, and the elections body reports of a high turnout, although Liberia has a population of about five million.

One of Liberia's largest political parties called for a halt to counting of election results Thursday, alleging voting irregularities and fraud, as the country awaited the announcement of the first provisional results.