Former Vice President Joseph Boakai has emerged victorious in Liberia’s presidential election, defeating incumbent President George Weah in a second round of voting.
With nearly all votes counted, Boakai, the candidate of the Unity Party, has secured an unassailable lead, garnering 814,212 votes of the available 1,625,684 votes. His opponent, Weah of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, has trailed with 785,778 votes.
As of 4 pm Friday, Boakai led George Weah with 28, 434 votes. With the total ballot outstanding for counting being 25,694, Weah cannot surpass Mr Boakai even if he gets all the pending votes.
Weah, a former football star, came into power in 2018, defeating Boakai.
Boakai, who served as vice president under former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from 2006 to 2018.
Weah is reported to have accepted defeat.
He said, “A few moments ago, I spoke with president-elect Joseph Boakai to congratulate him on his victory,” George Weah is quoted to have said on national radio. “I urge you (his supporters) to follow my example and accept the results of the elections.
“Tonight, the CDC has lost the election, but Liberia has won. This is a time for graciousness in defeat, a time to place our country above party, and patriotism above personal interest . . . Let us heal the divisions caused by the campaign and come together as one nation and one united people.”