Joseph Boakai secured victory in Liberia's presidential polls, emerging as the winner with 50.64% of the votes, as declared by the country's electoral commission. This outcome marks a significant shift in leadership, unseating incumbent President George Weah, who garnered 49.36% of the votes. The electoral commission concluded the ballot tally, officially announcing Boakai's triumph in the closely contested election. Boakai's win signals a new chapter in Liberia's political landscape, and the electoral results underscore the democratic process at play in determining the nation's leadership.
During a press briefing, Commission President Davidetta Browne Lansanah officially declared Joseph Boakai as the winner of the elections, citing a margin of 20,567 votes in his favour. Former international football star George Weah conceded defeat, taking into account the results from over 99.98% of the polling stations. Weah emphasized the importance of prioritizing national interests over personal interests, signaling a graceful acknowledgment of the election outcome.
Weah said in a speech on national radio, "The results announced tonight, though not final, indicate that... Boakai is in a lead that we cannot surpass." In his statement, he expressed that his CDC party "has experienced a defeat in the election, but Liberia emerges as the victor." He went on to say, "This is a moment that calls for graciousness in acknowledging our defeat."
US President Joe Biden congratulated Joseph Boakai for his victory in the presidential elections, lauding incumbent President Weah for respecting the "will of the people."
Biden stated, "I congratulate Joseph Boakai on his election to be the next president of Liberia. I also want to commend President Weah for respecting the will of the people, and putting patriotism above politics."
Previously, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller had congratulated Boakai on his triumph and President Weah for his "peaceful acceptance of the results." Miller emphasized in a statement, "We call on all citizens to follow President Weah's example and accept the results." Weah had earlier conveyed that he spoke to Boakai "to congratulate him on his victory."
"The Liberian people have spoken, and we have heard their voice. However, the closeness of the results reveals a deep division within our country," Weah said in his speech.
"Let us heal the divisions caused by the campaign and come together as one nation and one united people." Weah, who will retain his position until the transfer of power in January, pledged to persist in working "for the benefit of Liberia."
Image source: Reuters