After a close presidential run-off, Liberian leader and football legend George Weah conceded defeat to Joseph Boakai, declaring that it was “time to put national interest above personal interest.”
In Liberia, the oldest republic in Africa established by freed American slaves, Boakai was in the lead with nearly 51% of the votes, according to the most recent and nearly complete results.
Weah stated late on Friday on national radio, “The results announced tonight, though not final, indicate that… Boakai is in a lead that we cannot surpass.”
This is the time for graciousness in defeat, he continued, adding that his CDC party “has lost the election but Liberia has won.”
In the second round of the 2017 presidential election, the 78-year-old Boakai lost to Weah, 57, by a wide margin.
According to the election commission, Boakai received 50.89 percent of the votes cast after Tuesday’s second-round vote, with more than 92.5% of polling places reporting vote tallies.
According to Friday’s statistics, Boakai had a 28 000-vote advantage over Weah. With a national lead of just 7, 126 votes for Weah, the two finished last month’s first round neck-and-neck.
Liberia, which is still reeling from back-to-back civil wars and the 2014–2016 Ebola epidemic, had high hopes for change following the election of Weah,  , the first African footballer to win both the Ballon d’Or and FIFA’s World Player of the Year trophy.
However, detractors have charged him with corruption and with breaking his promise to help the poorest people.
“President-elect Boakai” was congratulated by the United States on his victory, and President Weah accepted the results in peace.
In a statement, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller urged all citizens to “follow President Weah’s example and accept the results.”
Liberians have spoken, it has been said.
Weah claimed to have congratulated Boakai on his victory in a conversation with him.
We have heard what the Liberian people have to say. Weah stated in his speech, “The closeness of the results, however, reveals a profound division within our country.”
“Let’s mend the rifts the campaign shattered and unite as a country and one people.”
Weah, who will serve as president until January’s handover, vowed to “continue to work for the good of Liberia.”
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In the past 20 years, it will be the second peaceful transfer of power from a democratically elected government.
After more than 250 000 people perished in Liberia’s two civil wars between 1989 and 2003, the United Nations decided to end its peacekeeping mission in 2018. These elections were the first since that time.
Liberia’s peaceful election has received praise from international observers, including the European Union.
The Economic Community of West African States, a regional bloc known as ECOWAS, claimed that although the poll was “largely” peaceful, four provinces experienced isolated incidents that resulted in “injuries and hospitalizations.”
Before the first round, there were several fatalities in the campaign’s clashes, which also raised concerns about post-election violence.
According to the electoral commission website, about 2.4 million Liberians were eligible to cast ballots on Tuesday, with a roughly 66 percent turnout.
Boakai is a seasoned politician who from 2006 to 2018 served as Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s vice president. She was the first woman to be elected head of state in Africa.
One of the poorest nations in the world, Liberia is home to about five million people.
The World Bank estimates that less than $2.15 per day is the average daily income of more than a fifth of the population.
Source: Channels TV