Liberian President George Weah has called his challenger, Joseph Boakai, to congratulate him on his victory in the presidential race. The opposition candidate currently holds a significant lead of 28,000 votes, with nearly all ballots counted. President Weah, a former football star, has been in power since 2018, and will step down in January. He came into the job on a wave of enthusiasm, especially from younger voters, having won that election by a large margin. However, a perception that he had failed to tackle corruption, rising prices, and continued economic difficulties tarnished his image.
Weah expressed his respect for the democratic process and acknowledged his conversation with Boakai, who he called the “president-elect” in his five-minute address after defeat. The electoral commission announced that Boakai had 50.89% of the votes, while President Weah had 49.11%. The president referred to the closeness of the race as revealing a deep division within the country and called on Liberians to work together to find common ground.
The latest set of results sparked celebrations in the capital, Monrovia, where supporters gathered at his party’s headquarters, believing that Boakai had won the election. The electoral commission announced the results from 99.58% of the polling stations following Tuesday’s run-off election.