Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Liberia: George Weah Loses Presidential Election – Joseph Boakai Wins

George Weah concedes defeat, saying democracy has won in his troubled West African country.

President George Weah of Liberia has been defeated in the second round of voting in his country’s presidential election held on Tuesday.

With 99.58 per cent of votes from the country’s 5,890 polling places counted, it is all but clear that former Vice President Joseph Boakai and candidate of the Unity Party has taken an unassailable lead.

Mr Boakai has so far garnered 814,212 votes of the available 1,625,684 votes, compared to the 785,778 scored by Mr Weah of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change. Turnout at the election stands at 65.77 per cent.

As of 4 pm Friday, the former vice president led George Weah with 28, 434 votes. The total ballot outstanding for counting is 25,694, meaning that the former footballer cannot catch up with Mr Boakai even if he gets all the pending votes.

The first round of voting on October 10 did not yield a clear winner among the 20 presidential candidates participating, leading to the runoff between Messrs Weah and Boakai, the top two contenders.

Unlike the first round, where a winner must score over 50 per cent of the vote, a victor only needs a simple majority to be declared the winner of the second round.

George Weah concedes defeat

Reports say the Liberian president has already accepted defeat. “A few moments ago, I spoke with president-elect Joseph Boakai to congratulate him on his victory,” George Weah is quoted to have said on national radio. “I urge you (his supporters) to follow my example and accept the results of the elections.

“Tonight, the CDC has lost the election, but Liberia has won. This is a time for graciousness in defeat, a time to place our country above party, and patriotism above personal interest . . . Let us heal the divisions caused by the campaign and come together as one nation and one united people.”