Over two million Liberian voters will go to the polls on October 10 to elect a leader who will replace Africa’s first democratically elected female president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
There are 20 candidates including the only woman who wants to be Africa’s second democratically elected female head of state.
They vowed to bring development to the country that faced a 14-year civil war resulting in the death of more than 250,000 people; and the Ebola epidemic that killed 4,800 people in 2014.
2,183,683 people out of the country’s 4.6 million population have registered to vote for one of the 20 candidates profiled below.
Elections history in Africa’s oldest democratic republic: Liberia
Urey Benoni Wilfred is a 60-year-old businessman and politician described as Liberia’s richest man in 2014. He is an Americo-Liberian from Careysburg, Montserrado County where he was born.
He owns Liberia’s largest mobile phone service provider Lonestar Communication Corporation including other ventures in media, agriculture and real estate.
Urey was an ally of former president Charles Taylor who is being tried for war crimes at the International Criminal Court.
He has served under three different governments including that of Charles Taylor as the Commissioner of Maritime Affairs until 2003.
The United Nations banned him in 2002 for an alleged role in arms procurement and ties with Taylor whom he allegedly aided in siphoning funds to pay for arms. He was also sanctioned by the US Treasury Department.
The Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommended that he should be prosecuted for economic crimes during the civil war. He was cleared in 2013 by the United Nations and in 2015 by the U.S.
Urey Benoni Wilfred has served as the Mayor of Careysburg City between 2009 and 2012. He is the candidate for the All Liberian Party (ALP) which he formed in 2015.
His vice presidential candidate is Duopu Alexander Nyonkon.
Cummings Alexander B.
Cummings Alexander B. is a 60-year-old Liberian businessman and politician who worked for twenty years with Coca-Cola until in 2016 when he resigned as the Executive Vice President of the Africa Group.
He was born in the capital Monrovia and has lived in the UK, US, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa while he worked for several multinational companies.
He is currently the Chairman of the Cummings Africa Foundation which he founded in 2015 with his family to empower Africans through health, education, agriculture and art projects.
Cummings joined politics in 2015 and announced his presidential bid in 2016 before winning the primaries this year as the standard bearer of the Alternative National Congress (ANC).
His vice presidential candidate is Sulunteh Jeremiah Congbeh.
Mcintosh Wendell J.E.
Mcintosh Wendell J.E. is a trained public administrator and an entrepreneur. He founded of the African Development Aid foundation (ADA) and ADA Commercial Inc. established in 1990 to train ex-combatants in farming.
He implemented the project in Guinea and the Ivory Coast while he was based in The Netherlands as Liberia’s ambassador at large.
Mcintosh worked with the UNDP, UNHCR and other agencies to train ex-combatants in rice and vegetable cultivation while providing tools and seeds. In 2004, he launched the programme in Liberia which was successful and won him several awards.
He won several awards for his zeal to empower victims of the civil war and to ensure food security in the country.
Mcintosh Wendell J.E. joined the presidential race and won the primaries as the standard bearer for the Change Democratic Actions (CDA) party. His vice presidential candidate is Ndebe Manjerngie Cecelia.
Weah George Manneh
Weah George Manneh is a retired Liberian international footballer and the Senator representing the Montserrado County.
He had a successful career as a footballer which started from his country before moving to Europe where he played for Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain, Milan, Chelsea and Marseille among others before his retirement in 2003.
Weah has won several international and continental awards including the African Footballer of the Year Award on multiple times. He also played for the Liberian national team which he coached and funded on various occasions.
The 51-year-old went into active politics as a candidate in the 2005 presidential election which he lost to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the second round of voting.
In 2011, he run again as a vice-presidential candidate on the ticket of Winston Tubman but failed.
Weah was later elected in the Senate in 2014.
His party, the Congress for Democratic Change has gained a lot of popularity among the youth who rally behind him during his campaigns.
He is running this time as the standard bearer of the Congress For Democratic Change (CDC) with his vice presidential candidate Howard-Taylor Jewel C.
Wiles Isaac Gbombadee
Wiles Isaac Gbombadee is a former Deputy Minister of Justice and founder of the Education and Community Empowerment group (DIGWFECOE) aimed at improving the lives of Liberians in the slums.
He has worked in several countries after the civil war broke out and returned to the country to embark on philanthropic projects.
He is running for president as the standard bearer for the Democratic Justice Party (DJP). His vice presidential candidate is Yarkpah Richmond D.K.
Cooper Oscar is a Liberian Senator representing the Margibi County since 2012. He was born in the capital Monrovia in 1953.
He worked as a manager in construction and logging firms in Liberia after his return from the United States where he studied.
He established his own logging company in 1999 and later lost his investments to the civil war. He later went into farming which is employing about 100 people.
Cooper is also a philanthropist and has contributed to the development of the country. He is running for president as an independent candidate.
His vice presidential candidate is Freeman Wonderr Koryenen.
Kpadeh Aloysius William
Kpadeh Aloysius William is a pastor at the Christ Ambassadors Prayer Ministry. He was a refugee in Ghana during the civil war in the early 2000s.
He was petitioned by his church members to run for the election and he is doing that as an independent candidate.
His vice presidential candidate is Partor John S.
Mator Yarkpajuwur N.
Mator Yarkpajuwur N. is a 59-year-old scientist, humanitarian and a politician born in the Lofa County.
He studied in Liberia, Germany and the United States as an engineer with over 30 years of experience.
He is running for president as an independent candidate with his vice Ruth L. Kollie.
Cooper Macdella B.
Cooper Macdella B. is the only female aspirant, a former model and philanthropist. The 40-year-old lived in the United States after escaping the war as a teenager.
Macdella Cooper entered into the fashion industry as a successful runway model in New York and fashion coordinator for fashion brand Ralph Lauren.
She is the founder of the Macdella Cooper Foundation which offers education, health and economic support for orphaned children, women and the youth of Liberia.
She announced her presidential ambition in October 2016 and later won the primaries under the ticket of her party, Union of Liberian Democrats (ULD).
Her victory was annulled by a court after internal party disputes. She later joined the newly formed Liberia Restoration Party (LRP) and was elected standard bearer days to the deadline for nomination.
Her vice presidential candidate is Slocum William R.
Sandy Kennedy Gbleyah
Sandy Kennedy Gbleyah is a pastor and a candidate in the 2011 presidential election. He was appointed a member of the Constitution Review Committee (CRC) by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf after losing the election.
He resigned from the Committee to join the race again under the ticket of the Liberia Transformation Party (LTP).
His vice presidential candidate is Tweh Victoria Morris.
Fahnbulleh Jr. Henry Boima
Fahnbulleh Jr. Henry Boima is a politician and diplomat who recently served as the National Security Advisor after serving as International Affairs Advisor under Sirleaf.
He was also the Minister of Education and of Foreign Affairs in the Tolbert and Doe Liberian governments from 1978 to 1983. He studied in Sierra Leone and in the United States.
Fahnbulleh Jr. Henry Boima lived in exile in Europe and later in Ghana where he formed an opposition group against Doe.
He is the standard bearer of the Liberian People’s Party (LPP) and his vice presidential candidate is Dahn Marcus S.G.
Brumskine Charles Walker
Brumskine Charles Walker is a politician and lawyer who came third in the 2005 presidential election. He also run unsuccessfully in the 2011 presidential election.
The 66-year-old was an ally of Charles Taylor in the 1990s and they later fell out after a dispute. He was Taylor’s Pro Temp of the Senate.
He is one of the toughest candidates in the presidential race which he is contesting as the standard bearer of the Liberty Party (LP).
His vice presidential candidate is Karnwea Sr. Harrison S.
Johnson Prince Y.
Johnson Prince Y. is a senior Senator from Nimba County and a veteran politician. He is a former rebel leader who played a role in the execution of President Samuel Doe.
He received military training in Liberia and the United States. He was a former ally of Taylor before breaking off to form his own rebel group that was notorious during the civil war.
He later fled to Nigeria to avoid capture by rival rebel groups. He became a Christian and reconciled with the family of Doe through the popular Nigerian Pastor T.B. Joshua.
He returned to Liberia after Taylor’s resignation and then won a Senate seat in the 2005 elections representing Nimba County.
He later ran in the 2011 presidential elections placing third.
Johnson Prince Y. is currently the standard bearer for the Movement For Democracy And Reconstruction (MDR) and his vice presidential candidate is Smith-Forbes Audrian R.
Jones Joseph Mills
Jones Joseph Mills is an economist who until recently served as the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia since 2006.
He started as the Assistant Minister of State for Presidential Affairs working on economic issues.
He later joined the Ministry of Planning and Economics Affairs as Chief Economist and Special Assistant to the Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs.
He also served internationally with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Bretton Woods Institution where he was the Alternate Executive Director of the World Bank for Africa Group I.
Jones Joseph Mills studied in Liberia and the United States where he earned a master and doctorate degrees in economics.
He is the standard bearer of the Movement For Economic Empowerment (MOVEE). His vice presidential candidate is Reeves Jr. Samuel B.
Freeman Simeon C.M
Freeman Simeon C.M is a businessman and politician who is very critical of the Sirleaf government.
He is the standard bearer for the Movement For Progressive Change (MPC) party. His vice presidential candidate is Knowlden William T.
Tuider William Wiah
Tuider William Wiah is a businessman based in the United States. He has no experience in politics but says he wants to be president to take Liberians out of poverty.
He has businesses in Liberia and has invested in scholarship programmes for children in elementary school.
He was born in 1966 and is running for president under the ticket of the New Liberia Party (NLP). His running mate is Dixon Davel.
Dweh Sr. George Sluweh
Dweh Sr. George Sluweh is a politician who served under two rebel groups. He is also the cousin of the former president Samuel Doe.
He served as Speaker of the National Transitional Legislative Assembly of Liberia (NTLA) from October 2003 to 14 March 2005 despite opposition due to his involvement in massacres.
He was later suspended for alleged financial mismanagement and corruption.
Dweh Sr. George Sluweh is running for president as standard bearer of the Redemption Democratic Congress (RDC). His running mate is Tuazama Ainniey.
Wento Macdonald A.
Wento Macdonald A. is a businessman and philanthropist who founded the MacDonald Wento Foundation in 2008 to offer children productive skills training.
He has eight businesses in the country and owns majority share in the New Millennium Oil & Gas Company, which has a 50-year concession life span.
He is a trained investment banker, currency trader and an entrepreneur. He studied in Spain, Switzerland and Ghana.
He is the founding Chairman of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) which former footballer George Weah is leading to the polls.
Wento Macdonald A. is the standard bearer of the United People’s Party (UPP) and his running mate is Bleah John N.
Boakai Joseph Nyuma
Boakai Joseph Nyuma is a politician and Liberia’s Vice President since 2006. He was previously the Minister of Agriculture from 1983 to 1985 under President Samuel Doe.
72-year-old Boakai studied business administration in the United States after early education in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
He is running for president as the standard bearer of the ruling Unity Party (UP). His running mate is Nuquay Emmanuel James.
Whapoe Jeremiah Z.
Whapoe Jeremiah Z. is the standard bearer of the Vision For Liberia Transformation (VOLT) party. His running mate is Flowers Isaac D.G.