MONROVIA – The National Elections Commission (NEC) is expected to announce the final runoff election result today, which will ultimately disclose whether incumbent George Weah will continue his presidency for another six-year tenure or former Vice President Joseph Boakai will take up the mantle of leadership for the next six years.
By Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
As of Thursday, the results showed that opposition Unity Party’s Joseph Boakai is in a slim lead, having secured 712,741 votes, representing 50.58 percent, while incumbent President George Weah closely follows with 696,520, presenting 49.42 percent.
The NEC has so far announced results from 5,107 out of 5,890 polling places (86.71%), with 873 polling places remaining.
After Thursday’s announcement, supporters of the opposition Unity Party took to the streets in jubilation, believing that they have already won the runoff election. However, analysts suggest that the yet-to-be-announced 13.29 percent of votes could significantly influence the outcome, potentially tipping the balance in favor of either candidate and determining the next President of Liberia.
The bulk of Boakai’s votes came from Nimba, where his running mate, Senator Jeremiah Koung, hails from, with strong support from Senator Prince Y. Johnson. In Nimba, the second most populated county in Liberia, the NEC has released results from 580 (78.8%) of the 736 polling places there. The county has a total of 307,254 registered voters. So far, Boakai has obtained 109,694 votes (71.57%), while President Weah trails in the county with 43,564 votes (28.43%).
Boakai also has a stronghold in Lofa, the third most populated county and where he hails from, with 75,373 votes (64.6%), while Weah got 41,298 votes (35.4%). The NEC has announced results from all 424 polling places in the county.
In Montserrado, the county with the highest number of voters, also known to be the stronghold of President Weah, 1,801 of 2,008 polling places have been announced by the NEC, putting Boakai in the lead in the county with 299,098 votes (51.37%), while President Weah follows with 283,174 (48.63%).
President Weah’s close race with Boakai was propelled by the overwhelming support of the southeastern counties, despite their small populations. In Grand Gedeh County, 129 of 163 polling places (79.14%) have been tallied, with Weah obtaining 29,847 votes (89.4%), while Boakai has 3,538 (10.6%).
In Maryland, 174 of 175 polling places (99.43%) have reported so far, with Weah again in the lead with 35,328 votes (83.36%), while Boakai follows with 7,050 votes (16.64%).
For Grand Kru, 82 of 110 polling places (74.55%) have reported, with Weah attaining 20,012 votes (89.32%), while Boakai got 2,394 votes (10.68%).
Rivergee County was also gracious to Weah with 97 of 98 polling places (98.98%). Weah got 18,587 votes, representing 79.9%, while Boakai trailed with 4,675 (20.1%). Sinoe County followed the same trend: President Weah got 19,841 votes (83.33%), and Boakai got 3,968 votes, which is 16.67%.
Rivercess County also gave Weah a push with 13,602 votes (73.77%), while Boakai follows with 4,836 votes (26.23%). The results from Rivercess announced on Thursday are from 92 of 105 polling places (87.62%).
Grand Bassa County is competitive, with Weah having a marginal lead with 24,045 votes (40.52%), as Boakai follows with 23,548 (49.48%). Bassa has, however, reported only 216 of 405 polling places, which is 53.33% of the total.
Margibi has reported from all 441 polling places, and Boakai topped with 64,160 votes (53.99%), while President Weah came close with 54,676 votes (46.01%).
Bong County, the home of current Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, has also reported from all 555 polling places, giving President Weah the lead there with 72,159 votes (52.92%), but Boakai came close with 64,194 (47.08%).
Boakai is in a slim lead in Cape Mount County with 21,244 votes (51.43%), as Weah also follows closely with 20,060 votes (48.57%). Cape Mount has reported from only 189 of 213 polling places (88.73%).
Bomi County has reported from all 171 polling places, giving Boakai 23,359 votes, which is 59.62% of the total votes cast in the runoff. Weah got 15,820 (40.38%).
Gbarpolu has so far reported only 42 of 134 polling places, which is 31.34%. Boakai again leads with 5,610 votes (55.45%), while Weah has 4,507 votes (44.55%).