Joseph Boakai was declared as the winner of Liberia’s presidential polls with 50.64 per cent of the vote, unseating President George Weah who got 49.36 per cent, the country’s electoral commission announced on Monday (Nov 20) after completing the ballot tally.
Davidetta Browne Lansanah, president of the commission, during a press briefing, said that Boakai won the elections with a margin of 20,567 votes.
Former international football star Weah had already conceded defeat on Friday (Nov 17) taking into consideration the results of more than 99.98 per cent of the polling stations, saying that it was “time to put national interest above personal interest”.
“The results announced tonight, though not final, indicate that… Boakai is in a lead that we cannot surpass,” Weah said in a speech on national radio late on Friday.
He said his CDC party “has lost the election but Liberia has won,” adding: “This is the time for graciousness in defeat”.
Biden congratulates Boakai
US President Joe Biden on Monday (Nov 20) congratulated Boakai for winning the presidential elections while also commending incumbent Weah for respecting the “will of people”.
“I congratulate Joseph Boakai on his election to be the next president of Liberia,” Biden said in a statement. “I also want to commend President Weah for respecting the will of the people, and putting patriotism above politics.”
Earlier, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller congratulated Boakai on his victory and President Weah for his “peaceful acceptance of the results”.
“We call on all citizens to follow President Weah’s example and accept the results,” Miller said in a statement.
Earlier, Weah said that he had spoken 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 continue to remain in power until the power is handed over in January, vowed to continue working “for the good of Liberia”.
(With inputs from agencies)