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Recent Elections in Liberia May have Seemed a Sleepy Affair, But it was Far more Remarkable 

Just 20 years ago the west African country was emerging from two devastating bouts of civil war in which drug-addled commanders forced child soldiers to kill their parents, among other atrocities. The war killed perhaps 250,000 people—roughly a twelfth of the population. As with every poll since the war, this election took place amid some fears of violence and a few deadly clashes. Yet on the day the voting was calm, helped by a pledge by all political parties to ensure a peaceful election. After a tight race there will be a run-off between the incumbent, George Weah, once a famous footballer, and Joseph Boakai, a former vice-president. Though some worry that violence may yet erupt if the result in the next round is close, it has so far been the fourth generally peaceful and broadly fair presidential election since the civil war, and the first since UN peacekeepers left in 2018.