Football legend George Weah, who is also the leader of Liberia, peacefully accepted defeat in the presidential run-off against opposition leader Joseph Boakai.
Weah acknowledged that it was time to prioritize national interest over personal interest. Boakai led with almost 51 percent of the votes in Liberia, the oldest republic in Africa founded by freed American slaves.
Weah, speaking on national radio, recognized that, though the results were not final, it was evident that Boakai had an insurmountable lead.
Despite his party, CDC, losing the election, Weah emphasized that Liberia had won, emphasizing the importance of graciousness in defeat.
In the 2017 presidential vote, Boakai, 78, had lost to Weah, 57, by a significant margin. The latest results, with over 99.5 percent of polling stations reporting, showed Boakai leading with 50.89 percent of the votes, approximately 28,000 votes ahead of Weah.
The United States congratulated Boakai on his victory and commended Weah for peacefully accepting the results.
Weah acknowledged the voice of the Liberian people and called for unity, recognizing the deep division revealed by the close results.
Weah, the first African footballer to win both FIFA’s World Player of the Year and the Ballon d’Or, was elected with high hopes for change in Liberia, which has faced civil wars and the Ebola epidemic.
However, critics accused his government of corruption and failure to fulfill promises to improve the lives of the poorest.
The election marked the second peaceful handover of power in two decades in Liberia, with the United Nations ending its peacekeeping mission in 2018.
International observers, including the European Union, praised Liberia for holding a peaceful election, although there were isolated incidents leading to injuries in some provinces.
Boakai, a seasoned politician who served as vice president from 2006 to 2018, is now set to lead Liberia, one of the poorest countries with a population of around five million.
The election had a turnout of approximately 66 percent among the 2.4 million eligible voters. Weah pledged to continue working for the good of Liberia until the handover of power in January…[CONTINUE READING HERE]>>
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