Observers report long lines at many polling stations at closing time.

George Weah, the 1995 World Footballer of the Year, is tipped to win the Liberian Presidential election. Voters chose among 20 presidential contenders and almost 1 000 candidates from 26 political parties vying for 73 seats in the House of Representatives.

A candidate must get at least 50 percent of the vote to be declared the victor.

Liberia’s provisional election results are expected Thursday, the election commission said Wednesday, as the West African nation waits to see who will succeed the Nobel Peace Prize victor who led the country’s recovery from Ebola and civil war. Voters commended her leadership, but also said they are ready for change when they lined up for Tuesday’s historic vote.

According to a statement quoting, Heather Nauert, State Department Spokesperson said, we salute Liberia’s success in holding free and fair elections in 2005, 2011, and 2014 and urge Liberians to build on that tradition by peacefully and patiently awaiting the official results from the National Elections Commission. Final results should be known within two weeks.

Should there be a runoff, the victor is slated to be announced on November 8.

Sirleaf, Africa’s first female elected head of state, is stepping down after a maximum two six-year terms in which she steered the country away from the trauma of civil war, but, say critics, failed to tackle its poverty.

The election turnout was impressive, especially among younger generations, said Christopher Fomunyoh of the US -funded National Democratic Institute, which was monitoring the elections. He said Liberia’s youth demonstrated “a commitment to be involved in the electoral and governmental process of their country”.

The election marks the end of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s tenure.