Former Vice President of Liberia and candidate of the Unity Party, Joseph Boakai, has been officially declared the winner of the 2023 presidential election.
This declaration was made by Davidetta Lansannah, chairperson of the National Election Commission (NEC) Liberia on Monday evening.
With 100 per cent of votes from the country’s 5,890 polling places counted, Mr Boakai garnered 814,481 votes of the available 1,625,684 votes, compared to the 793,914 scored by incumbent president George Weah of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change.
Mr Boakai’s votes constituted 50.64 per cent of the total votes cast while Mr Weah’s votes were 49.36 per cent of the votes cast.
The first round of voting on 10 October 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 votes, a victor only needs a simple majority to be declared the winner of the second round.
George Weah concedes defeat
It was reported that Mr Weah has accepted defeat and congratulated president-elect Boakai.
“I urge you (his supporters) to follow my example and accept the results of the elections,” Mr Weah said at a time when about 99 per cent of the votes had been counted.
“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.”
Many foreign leaders have congratulated Mr Boakai on his victory.
It was reported that Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu congratulated Mr Boakai and also commended Mr Weah.
The United States Government also commended Mr Weah for accepting the outcome of the tightly contested election.
“We congratulate President-elect Boakai on his victory and President Weah for his peaceful acceptance of the results,” the State Department said in a statement.
“The United States congratulates the people of Liberia on holding a peaceful presidential runoff election. We note the broad participation of Liberians across the country and applaud the commitment and dedication of Liberian citizens in exercising their right to vote and in engaging in the electoral process peacefully.”
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