Political veteran Joseph Boakai was on Monday declared the winner of Liberia’s presidential election, beating incumbent George Weah, electoral authorities stated after finishing the poll rely.
Boakai gained with 50.64 % of the vote, towards 49.36 % of the vote for former worldwide soccer star Weah, Nationwide Electoral Fee president Davidetta Browne Lansanah instructed reporters.
Boakai gained by a margin of simply 20,567 votes.
Weah had already conceded the election on Friday night, primarily based on the outcomes of greater than 99.98 % of polling stations.
The outgoing president gained reward from overseas on Monday for conceding and selling a non-violent transition in a area marred by coups.
“Liberians have as soon as once more demonstrated that democracy is alive within the ECOWAS area and that change is feasible by way of peaceable means,” the Financial Neighborhood of West African States stated in a press release.
However hours after Boakai’s victory was introduced, a automobile plowed right into a crowd of supporters exterior his occasion’s headquarters, injuring a minimum of 16 folks, police stated. His occasion stated a minimum of 10 folks had been killed within the incident.
Since 2020, ECOWAS states have seen abrupt regime adjustments with navy forces seizing energy in 4 of the 15 member international locations: Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Niger.
The election six years in the past of Weah — the primary African footballer to win each FIFA’s World Participant of the 12 months trophy and the Ballon d’Or — had sparked excessive hopes of change in Liberia, which continues to be reeling from back-to-back civil wars and the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic.
However critics have accused his authorities of corruption and him of failing to maintain a promise to enhance the lives of the poorest.
Whereas his occasion misplaced, “Liberia has gained,” Weah had stated on the radio.
Weah stated he had spoken to the person he referred to as the “president-elect” to congratulate him and urged his supporters to just accept the election end result.
“It is a time for graciousness in defeat,” he stated, including, “Our time will come once more.”
The African Union despatched its congratulations to Boakai on Monday.
AU chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat additionally referred to as on “all events to proceed to show maturity and embrace dialogue to consolidate democracy.”
U.S. President Joe Biden additionally despatched congratulations to Boakai, whereas praising Weah for “respecting the desire of the folks and placing patriotism above politics.”
‘Defied the stereotype’
The ECOWAS bloc stated that the post-election part was “essential” and referred to as on “the folks of Liberia to keep up and safeguard peace and safety.”
Nevertheless, the NEC head stated that on Friday, the fee had obtained two appeals from Weah’s occasion regarding the conduct of the election in Nimba County.
The fee has 30 days to research and attain a choice, she stated.
Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who led a mediation mission for the election, stated he was “deeply happy with the profitable final result of the democratic course of,” in feedback posted on X, previously Twitter.
He went on to congratulate Boakai, urging him “to be magnanimous in victory and search to proceed the efforts to unite” Liberia.
Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who’s a heavyweight within the West African bloc, recommended Weah’s concession, saying it had averted any type of socio-political disaster.
“He has defied the stereotype that peaceable transitions of energy are untenable in West Africa,” Tinubu stated.
A number of presidential elections within the area are upcoming in 2024, together with polls in Senegal, Ghana and Mauritania, in addition to military-ruled Mali and Burkina Faso.