Voters in Ebola-hit Liberia elect senators

MONROVIA – Voters in Ebola-hit Liberia went to the polls on Saturday to replace 15 of 30 sitting senators whose tenure will expire in the second week of January, in accordance with the country's constitution.

According to an Anadolu Agency correspondent in Monrovia, the voting was proceeding peacefully.

Some 2,640,000 Liberians are eligible to vote in 1,780 polling precincts across the country, with 139 candidates, including 20 women, vying for the 15 seats up for grabs.

The ruling Unity Party, for its part, is fielding 14 candidates in the race.

Former international footballer George Weah, the leader of the Congress for Democratic Change, the country's biggest opposition party, is contesting the senatorial race along with 14 other party candidates.

Robert, the son of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is contesting the race in Montserrado County as an independent against Weah.

Weah and Sirleaf are among 11 candidates vying for the seat of Montserrado County, which includes capital Monrovia.

Thousands of Liberians had taken to the streets of Monrovia to attend the official launch of the two men's campaigns last month.

The election was initially scheduled for October 14 before being postponed by the country's electoral body due to the outbreak of the Ebola virus.

In recent months, Ebola – a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure – has killed 6,915 people, mostly in West Africa, according to the World Health Organization.

The deadly virus has reportedly claimed 3,290 lives in Liberia alone.

The House of Representatives set the election date for the election of new senators after health authorities reported decreasing numbers of new Ebola cases since the beginning of October.

Campaigning for the special senatorial elections kicked off across Liberia in late November, with a series of meetings and events taking place across the country.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency