Monday, July 15

Liberia election result: George Weah and Joseph Boakai in neck and neck race

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With results in from more than 85% of polling stations in Liberia’s run-off election, opposition candidate Joseph Boakai is slightly ahead of President George Weah.

Mr Boakai so far has 50.6% of the vote, while Mr Weah is on 49.4%, the election commission says.

The two were separated by just over 7,000 votes in the first round in October, triggering Tuesday’s run-off.
A former international football star, Mr Weah, 57, is seeking a second term.

He became president after comfortably defeating Mr Boakai, 78, in a run-off in 2017.

Mr Boakai served as vice-president in the government of Nobel Peace laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who stepped down as Liberia’s leader after the 2017 election.

The latest results from Tuesday’s run-off come after votes from just over 5,000 of the 5,890 polling stations have been collated.

It is unclear when the final result will be out. The election commission has 15 days from polling day of announce it.

In the first round, Mr Weah got 43.8% of the vote and Mr Boakai 43.4% – both falling short of the 50% threshold required to be declared president.

The third placed candidate secured only about 2% of the vote.

The poll was the tightest presidential contest in Liberia since a civil war ended about two decades ago.

A run-off was predicted, but Mr Boakai did better than expected.

Mr Boakai’s campaigning has focused on the need to rescue the nation from what he calls “mismanagement” by Mr Weah’s administration.

The president dismissed Mr Boakai’s allegations, saying that he has made significant strides, including introducing free tuition for university students.

This is the fourth time a presidential election has taken place in Liberia since a civil war ended more than 20 years ago.

Observers from the regional bloc, Ecowas, said the run-off was largely peaceful, AFP news agency reports.

However, there were isolated incidents that led to “injuries and hospitalisations” in the provinces of Lofa, Nimba, Bong and Montserrado, AFP quotes the observers as saying.