The race for Liberia’s presidency is heating up as the two main contenders, President George Weah and Joseph Boakai, are neck and neck in the latest provisional results. With almost all votes counted, both candidates are now headed for a run-off election.
As it stands, President Weah has secured 43.8% of the vote, while Mr. Boakai is not far behind with 43.5%. In order to be declared the winner, a candidate needs to obtain more than 50% of the vote. This means that the upcoming run-off is crucial for both candidates, as every vote will count in determining the next president of Liberia.
The election held on October 10th marked the closest presidential race in Liberia since the end of the civil war two decades ago. The election commission announced the latest results after counting votes in over 98% of polling stations. These results show President Weah with a slim lead of 5,456 votes.
Unfortunately, some irregularities were identified in certain parts of Sinoe, Nimba, and Montserrado counties, where votes were tampered with by unknown individuals. Therefore, voting will be repeated in those areas on Friday to ensure a fair and transparent election process.
Out of the 18 other presidential candidates, none received more than 3% of the vote in the first round. As a result, the two main contenders are likely to seek the endorsement of these candidates, as each vote will play a crucial role in the upcoming run-off election.
President Weah, a former international football star, is seeking a second term as president. In the 2017 election, he won the run-off with 61.5% of the vote, defeating Mr. Boakai who received 38.5%. Interestingly, President Weah also obtained the most votes in the first round of that election, receiving 38.4% compared to Mr. Boakai’s 28.8%. This suggests that Mr. Boakai has fared better in the current poll, leading to a more competitive run-off.
As the run-off election approaches, both candidates are expected to intensify their campaigns and make their final appeals to the voters of Liberia. The outcome of this election will have a significant impact on the future of the country, as it will determine the leadership for the next term.
According to analyst Abdullah Kiatamba, the candidate who emerges victorious in the first round of the election will have the advantage of greater momentum, as reported by AFP news agency. Following the announcement of official results, a run-off will be held on 7 November. It is speculated that this may be the final attempt at the presidency for Mr Boakai, aged 78, who previously served as vice-president under then-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Ms Sirleaf was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to bring peace and stability to Liberia after a devastating civil war that claimed the lives of an estimated 250,000 people.
Mr Boakai’s campaign was centered around the theme of “Rescue”, with the argument that Liberia had declined during Mr Weah’s first six years in office. In response, Mr Weah, aged 57, has refuted these claims, citing his achievements such as the introduction of free tuition for university students. A diplomatic tone has been maintained throughout this communication.
Liberia, once ravaged by conflict, has made significant strides towards stability and development in recent years. The next president will face the challenge of continuing this progress and addressing the ongoing issues of poverty, unemployment, and inequality. The voters of Liberia will ultimately decide who is best equipped to lead the country and steer it towards a brighter future.
In the coming days, all eyes will be on Liberia as the run-off election takes place. The world will anxiously await the final results, eager to see who emerges victorious. Until then, the fate of Liberia hangs in the balance, as the people eagerly choose their next leader.