Liberians Head to Polls to Choose Successor to Africa's First Elected Female President

Liberia will elect a new president today, after 12 years under Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Liberians are heading to the polls today to pick the successor to Africa's first freely elected female president and Nobel laureate, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

The head of state, who served two terms in office following the end of the Second Liberian Civil War, encouraged Liberians to vote for the candidate that they believe have their best interests in mind, rather than along ethnic ties. "Your vote is about you and your family - not party, ethnicity," she said in an address to to the nation.

A total of 20 candidates are in the running to succeed her. The election's main contenders are Vice President Joseph Boakai and former football player George Weah, who's running for a third time. Former model and philanthropist, MacDella Cooperwho we spoke with back in August—is also in the running as the only female candidate on the ticket. Former Coca-Cola executive, Alex Cummings is also in the running.

Due to the number of candidates, it's expected that their will be a second round of voting that will take place in November, though preliminary results are expected as early as Wednesday.

Poverty, corruption as well as political and economic stability are the main issues surrounding the election, BBC Africa reports.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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