By Grace Washington
In a closely contested race, former Vice President of Liberia Joseph N. Boakai emerged victorious in a highly anticipated 2023 Presidential Elections, edging out sitting President George M. Weah. The nation witnessed a nail-biting electoral process that unfolded over weeks, culminating in a runoff on November 14, 2023.
The elections, held on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, featured a field of over 18 candidates, with President Weah representing the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and Boakai from the Unity Party (UP).
The initial contest showcased a crowded field of over 10 candidates, among whom Weah, representing the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), and Boakai, from the Unity Party (UP), emerged as the front-runners with an equal share of votes. The need for a runoff election became imperative, setting the stage for a showdown between the incumbent president and the seasoned former vice president.
On Tuesday, November 14, the National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia diligently counted the ballots cast across the nation. The official results, announced with meticulous detail, revealed a narrow victory for Boakai. The NEC reported receiving results from an impressive 99.58% of the 5,890 polling places, reflecting the engagement of the Liberian electorate.
The total votes, a significant 1,625,684, constituted 65.77% of the eligible ballots. The final tally showcased George M. Weah securing 49.11%, while former Vice President Joseph Boakai clinched the victory with 50.89%. This margin marked Boakai as the President-elect of Liberia, triggering waves of celebration among his supporters and setting the stage for a new chapter in the nation’s political landscape.
In the wake of this monumental outcome, President George M. Weah, a renowned African football legend and incumbent head of state, demonstrated statesmanship by extending his congratulations to President-elect Joseph N. Boakai.
In a press release from the Executive Mansion of Liberia, a phone was placed to President-elect Boakai from President Weah, which many believe sets a positive precedent for political transitions in the country.
President Weah emphasized the importance of peace in moving forward.
A phone call on Friday, November 17, 2023, served as the conduit for President Weah’s acknowledgment of Boakai’s triumph.
President Weah, emphasizing the resilience of Liberia’s democratic process, declared Liberians as the true victors of the elections.
In a unifying gesture, he urged his supporters to accept the results, promoting a spirit of national unity in the aftermath of a closely contested election.
As Liberia prepares for the transition of power from Weah to Boakai, the international community watches with keen interest, hoping for a smooth transfer that strengthens the democratic fabric of this West African nation.
Moreover, as Joseph Boakai prepares to assume the presidency, all eyes are on the future trajectory of Liberia under his leadership and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the nation.
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