Friday, April 12, 2024

Liberia’s Weah concedes defeat after losing run-off poll to Boakai

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

Liberia’s president, George Weah has lost a re-election bid with opposition candidate Joseph Boakai almost set to be declared winner of the country’s presidential poll.

He has maintained a slim lead in the presidential run-off election after official results from more than 99% of polling stations were announced on Friday.

Boakai, 78, a former vice president lost to Weah in the 2017 poll has now secured 50.89% of the votes from the run-off poll, while incumbent President George Weah managed 49.11%.

That represents a lead of more than 28,000 votes, with nearly all the ballots accounted for. The latest results have sparked celebrations in the capital, Monrovia.

Boakai campaigned on rescuing the West African nation from what he calls mismanagement by Weah’s administration.

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George Weah on Friday conceded defeat to Boakai, hours after polls showed he was on the brink of losing the polls.

Weah “has called Mr. Boakai to congratulate him,” presidential press secretary Solo Kehgbeh told Reuters. “This is the beauty of democracy.”

Local media reported, Mr. Weah has made a public announcement as well conceding defeat.

Tuesday’s run-off between Mr Boakai and Mr Weah took place after both candidates failed to secure more than 50% of the vote in last month’s first round.

In that vote, the president led with just 7,000 votes ahead of Mr Boakai, making it the tightest election in Liberia’s electoral history since a civil war ended about two decades ago.

Liberia is struggling to recover from two civil wars that killed more than 250,000 people between 1989 and 2003, and from a 2013-16 Ebola epidemic that killed thousands.

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