Liberian President George Weah has conceded defeat to Joseph Boakai, his opponent in the country’s tight presidential election.
On Friday evening, the country’s National Elections Commission (NEC) said Boakai had raked in 50.89 percent of the votes, while Weah scored 49.11 percent.
Commenting on the outcome of the election, Weah described Boakai’s lead as insurmountable.
The Liberian leader congratulated Boakai, a former vice-president he defeated in 2017, and assured him of his commitment to working with him for a better country.
“I stand before you tonight with a heavy heart, but with the utmost respect for the democratic process that has defined our nation. As your President and the leader of the Coalition for Democratic Change, I want to address you on the outcome of the run-off elections held on November 14, 2023,” Weah said in a statement.
“The results announced tonight, though not final, indicate that Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai is in a lead that is insurmountable. A few moments ago, I spoke with President-elect Joseph N. Boakai to congratulate him on his victory and to offer my sincere commitment to working with him for the betterment of our beloved Liberia.
“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to President-elect Boakai, his supporters, and his campaign team. May his presidency be marked by success for all Liberians, and may our nation prosper under his leadership.”
Weah acknowledged the citizens of Liberia as the “true winners” of the election but added that the electoral process brought the “deep division” in the country to the fore.
“However, the closeness of the results reveals a deep division within our country. As we transition to the new Boakai administration, we must be vigilant to the dangers of division and work together to find common ground. Now, more than ever, unity is paramount for the love of Mama Liberia,” he said.
Weah lauded the NEC for a transparent process and thanked foreign stakeholders for committing to the process.
A run-off between both former allies was triggered after neither candidate got more than 50 percent of the votes in last month’s first round.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) election observation mission to Liberia said the polls were “successful and peaceful.”