Monrovia — Liberian President George Weah has revealed “deep division” within the country, admonishing citizens to be vigilant to the dangers of division and work together to find common ground.
By Selma Lomax, [email protected]
“The closeness of the results reveals a deep division within our country. As we transition to a new administration, we must be vigilant to the dangers of division, and must work together to find common ground. Now, more than ever, unity is paramount for the love of Mama Liberia,” President Weah said.
The outgoing Liberian leader said unity was paramount more than ever for the love of Liberia.
Unity Party’s standard bearer, Joseph Boakai, was on Monday declared winner of Liberia’s presidential election, beating incumbent George Weah, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) said after completing the ballot count.
Boakai won with 50.64 percent of the vote, against 49.36 percent of the vote for Weah, Davidetta Browne Lansanah, chairperson of the commission, told reporters.
Mr. Boakai won with only a 20,567-vote margin.
Weah had already conceded defeat on Friday evening, based on the results of more than 99.98 percent of the polling stations.
“A few moments ago, I spoke with president elect Joseph Boakai to congratulate him on his victory,” Weah said on national radio. “I urge you to follow my example and accept the results of the elections.”
The outgoing President and former football star won praise from abroad on Monday for conceding and promoting a non-violent transition in a region marred by coups.
“Liberians have once again demonstrated that democracy is alive in the ECOWAS region and that change is possible through peaceful means,” the Economic Community of West African States said in a statement.
Since 2020, ECOWAS states have seen abrupt regime changes with military forces seizing power by force in four of the fifteen member countries: Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Niger.
The election six years ago of Mr. Weah – the first African footballer to win both FIFA’s World Player of the Year trophy and the Ballon d’Or – had sparked high hopes of change in Liberia, which is still reeling from back-to-back civil wars and the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic.