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Liberian President, Weah loses presidential election, congratulates opposition, Boakai

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Liberian President, Weah loses presidential election, congratulates opposition, Boakai

Liberian President George Weah extended his congratulations to his opponent, Joseph Boakai, in the presidential race following Mr. Boakai’s unassailable lead of 28,000 votes with nearly all ballots counted.

Addressing the nation, President Weah stated, “The Liberian people have spoken, and we have heard their voice,” as he acknowledged the outcome.

The former football star had been in power since 2018 and is set to step down in January.

READ ALSO: Liberians vote as President Weah seeks second term

President Weah initially entered the role with widespread enthusiasm, particularly from younger voters, when he achieved a significant victory in the previous election against Mr. Boakai.

However, during his tenure, there was a growing perception of his failure to address issues such as corruption, inflation, and ongoing economic challenges, which impacted his popularity.

Demonstrating graciousness in defeat, President Weah emphasized his “utmost respect for the democratic process” and referred to Mr. Boakai as the “president-elect” in his address.

Notably, the electoral commission had announced Mr. Boakai, a 78-year-old political veteran, secured 50.89% of the votes, while President Weah garnered 49.11%.

Reflecting on the narrow margin of the race, President Weah highlighted the “deep division” within the country and urged Liberians to come together and “work to find common ground,” emphasizing the importance of unity for Liberia’s progress.

It is a significant period for the nation as it emerges from a civil war that ended just 20 years ago, which claimed an estimated 250,000 lives.

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