Street protests erupted in Liberia today, Friday as election returns showed former Finance Minister Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf poised to become Africa's first democratically-elected woman president.
With 97-percent of votes counted, the election commission says Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf has won about 60 percent of the vote to 40 percent for rival candidate George Weah, the former soccer (football) star.
As the latest results were released, U.N. peacekeepers fired teargas and used batons to disperse angry supporters of Mr. Weah.
Troops and newly trained Liberian police also cordoned off roads near the U.S. embassy in the capital, Monrovia, where demonstrators had gathered. Streets surrounding the election commission and Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf's campaign headquarters were also blocked.
Earlier, Mr. Weah told his supporters not to riot, saying Liberia does not want more war. His party has petitioned the Supreme Court to stop the vote count and filed a complaint of fraud with election officials.