Fights broke out between George Weah’s supporters and opponents during a campaign in the nation’s capital Monrovia on Sunday, marring the end of the president’s reelection campaign in Liberia.
Even though there was no official death toll as of Sunday night, AFP reported that at least five men had been hurt, some of whom had significant head wounds.
Stones were thrown between members of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), the political party of former football star Weah, and those of the ALCOP, the rival group. Police then used tear gas to disperse the stone-throwing.
The country, which endured back-to-back civil wars between 1989 and 2003 that claimed more than 250,000 lives, has pledged peaceful elections, but the deaths of three people in clashes between opposing political camps last month have fueled fears of electoral violence.
Before the first round of voting on Tuesday, voters have ranked peace and development among their top priorities.
A candidate must receive at least 50% plus one of the total votes cast in order to win.
The two parties with the most votes in the first round will advance to a run-off election that is won by a simple majority if no party surpasses that threshold.
Thousands of people descended on the capital on Sunday for Weah’s final campaign event, which he was competing against 19 other presidential contenders.
“We must all cherish this peace and continue to preserve it, because without peace, our world will be difficult. Without peace, development will not take place,” he said in a speech at his party’s headquarters.
Weah promised to invest in education and create jobs when he ran for office, but critics claim he hasn’t lived up to those promises.