Liberia is heading for a second round of voting in a presidential election between outgoing incumbent George Weah and opponent Joseph Boakai, as official provisional results Tuesday placed them neck and neck.
With more than 94 percent of ballots counted, Boakai, 78, won 43.70 percent, while Weah, 57, a former international footballer who is running for a second term, gained 43.65 percent, according to results published by the national electoral commission.
The two men were well ahead of the 18 other presidential candidates in the first round of voting in the West African nation on October 10.
Ballot counting is now complete in nearly 93 percent of polling stations, the commission said on its website.
The figures indicate that neither Weah nor Boakai are set to secure enough votes for an absolute majority and be elected in the first round.
A run-off is planned for two weeks after the announcement of official results but could be delayed by possible appeals.
West African regional bloc ECOWAS and the African Union have congratulated the Liberian government and the election commission for the organisation of a peaceful vote, marked by a high participation rate.
The vote was the first to be held since the United Nations ended its peacekeeping mission in Liberia in 2018.
The mission was created after more than 250,000 people died in two civil wars between 1989 and 2003.