“The results announced tonight, though not final, indicate that… Boakai is in a lead that we cannot surpass,” Liberia president George Weah said in a speech on national radio late on Friday, November 17th, 2023 in accepting that he had lost the presidential polls to opposition’s Joseph Boakai in the run off.
He said his Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) party has lost the election but Liberia has won.
With more than 99.5 percent of the polling stations reporting vote tallies after Tuesday’s second-round vote, Boakai had garnered 50.89 percent of ballots cast, according to the election commission.
Boakai was 28,000 votes ahead of Weah, according to Friday’s figures. The two finished neck-and-neck in the first round last month, with a national lead of just 7,126 votes for Weah.
Weah said he had spoken to Boakai “to congratulate him on his victory”.
“The Liberian people have spoken, and we have heard their voice. However, the closeness of the results reveals a deep division within our country,” Weah said in his speech.
“Let us heal the divisions caused by the campaign and come together as one nation and one united people.”
Weah who remains president until the handover of power in January pledged to “continue to work for the good of Liberia”.
It will be the second peaceful handover of power from one democratically-elected government from another in two decades.
The 78-year-old Boakai lost to Weah, 57, by a large margin in the second-round presidential vote in 2017.
The United States congratulated “president-elect Boakai on his victory and President Weah for his peaceful acceptance of the results”.
“We call on all citizens to follow President Weah’s example and accept the results,” US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.
International observers, including the European Union, have commended Liberia for holding a peaceful election.
Regional bloc ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, said the poll was “largely” peaceful, but noted isolated incidents that led to “injuries and hospitalisations” in four provinces.