By: R. Joyclyn Wea
Despite warnings from the state security apparatus and the NEC to refrain from premature celebration, partisans, supporters, and well-wishers of the Unity Party “Rescue Mission” could not hold back after the presidential runoff election results, which saw Amb. Joseph Boakai maintained a favorable lead over incumbent President George Weah, which was announced on November 17, 2023.
While the NEC has yet to proclaim any of the two candidates the victor, preliminary results of the presidential runoff election revealed that Amb. Boakai and the UP have a 99% chance of returning to the national government, after serving as the country’s Vice President for 12 years.
With 99.58% of all polling sites nationally reporting (5,865 out of 5,890), Boakai took the lead with 814,212 votes (50.89%), while President Weah came in second with 785,778 votes (50.11%). The difference in votes between the two candidates is 28,434 votes or 1.78%.
The disparity has grown significantly since the electoral authority began reporting results on November 15, just one day after the runoff election.
As a result, fans of Boakai flocked to every street corner and his apartment to celebrate the news of his election, expressing hope for reform and a new direction for the country.
Weah, on the other hand, has not accepted defeat as of the time of reporting. The nation now awaits the official pronouncement of Boakai as the next president, who will be tasked with guiding Liberia through the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
If President Weah loses this election, he will be the first President in Liberian history to lose his reelection bid. His defeat comes barely six years after he defeated Boakai in the 2017 runoff, winning by 61.5% to 38.5%.
Boakai put up a formidable fight in the first round, securing 43.44% of the vote compared to Weah’s 43.83%, this led to a runoff, as neither candidate reached the constitutional requirement of 50% plus one vote.