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Liberia's Democratic Transition: George Weah Concedes Election Defeat to Joseph Boakai

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FOREIGN NEWS: Liberia's Democratic Transition: George Weah Concedes Election Defeat to Joseph Boakai [New Foreign News] » Naijacrawl
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In a pivotal moment for Liberia, President George Weah conceded defeat to opposition leader Joseph Boakai on Friday after a closely contested election.



This marked the end of Weah's presidency, which had been clouded by allegations of corruption, but also contributed to a smooth transition of power in a nation that has experienced volatility in the past.

Boakai, a 78-year-old former vice president who had previously lost to Weah in the 2017 election, secured victory with 50.9% of the vote, while Weah garnered 49.1%, according to the country's elections commission, with nearly all votes counted.

The outcome represents a significant turnaround from 2017 when Weah, a global soccer legend, clinched victory with 62% of the vote amid a wave of hope. However, disillusionment grew over the years due to perceived lack of progress in addressing issues such as poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, and inadequate electricity supply.

"I spoke with President-elect Joseph Boakai to congratulate him on his victory," Weah announced on national radio. "I urge you to follow my example and accept the results of the elections."

Weah's concession sets the stage for Liberia's second democratic transfer of power in over seven decades, the first occurring when Weah assumed office six years ago.

In a region where democratic elections often face challenges, marked by accusations of fraud and contested results, Weah's graceful exit provides a positive example for West and Central Africa. Boakai's supporters in the capital, Monrovia, celebrated the near-final results with dancing, shouting, and honking car horns despite the rain.

"We have a job ahead of us to do, and I'm excited that the citizens have given us approval," Boakai expressed to Reuters. "First and foremost, we want to have a message of peace and reconciliation."

Boakai, known for his soft-spoken demeanor and extensive political career, emerged closely matched with Weah in the initial round of voting in October but fell short of the required 50%, leading to the run-off on Tuesday.

Liberia, still recovering from two devastating civil wars and a 2013-16 Ebola epidemic, faces numerous challenges. Many citizens believe that Weah's tenure did not fulfill promises to alleviate poverty and improve the country's infrastructure.

As Liberia looks towards a new era under President-elect Joseph Boakai, there is hope for positive change and a commitment to addressing the pressing issues that continue to affect the nation.

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Piroll
 

Piroll is a creative writer, social-political commentator, socio-researcher, and sports analyst. He holds certificates in media management and data journalism from the Thomas Foundation Institute of Journalism. He works as a... Read More

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