In nearby Guinea, where the UN chief staged on Saturday before heading to Mali, violence broke out in southern Kissidougou when hundreds of youngsters went on the rampage against an Ebola health centre set up by Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
    
Angry youths fearing an outbreak of the disease "ransacked installations, notably MSF tents, set fire to tarpaulins and smashed chairs to chase out the staff," said police commissioner Alfred Houlemou.
    
In Liberia, the vote for 15 of the 30 seats in the upper house of parliament had been postponed twice already since October as the epidemic swept the impoverished nation.
    
More than 3,340 people have now died from Ebola in Liberia, making it the country with the highest number of fatalities in the current outbreak, followed by Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The overall death toll in the three countries over the past year has climbed to 7,373, according to the latest World Health Organization tally.
    
Balloting in Liberia opened at 7:30 am (1300 IST) and polling stations began closing at 5:00 pm. Some polling stations had opened late in the seaside capital Monrovia and in several locations in the interior of the country.

Football star George Weah - the former African footballer of the year who played for Chelsea and AC Milan before retiring in 2003 - and the son of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Robert Sirleaf, are among the 139 candidates in the running for a seat.

Weah, 48, ran unsuccessfully against Johnson Sirleaf for president in the country's 2005 election.
    
After casting his vote in northern Kendeja, Weah said he was sure of victory.

"I am more than confident that I will win ... My victory was stolen from me in previous presidential elections. This time I will not allow it," he said. The first provisional results are expected on Sunday.

Monrovia's streets were deserted on Sunday although there were long queues outside polling stations. Bars, offices and businesses were closed, a source revealed.

Earlier, Liberia's Deputy Health Minister Tolbert Nyensuah had said all voters would be tested and those with high temperatures asked to cast their ballots in a separate area.

 

 

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