LIBERIA: Confirmed and Sealed …Boakai Wins Presidential Race
It has been sealed and confirmed by Liberia’s elections management body, the National Elections Commission (NEC) has officially announced former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai of the former ruling Unity Party (UP) as the winner of the recently conducted 14 November 2023 Presidential Run-off Elections.
Though the numbers released in recent days following the conduct of the elections had clearly placed the former Vice President as winner, the electoral body officially confirmed that Monday, November 20, 2023.
“Members of the press, ladies and gentlemen, I now present the national presidential final tally report consolidated. Five thousand, eight hundred ninety (5,890) polling places of a total of five thousand, eight hundred ninety (5,890) have been reported constituting 100 percent. Boakai Joseph N. obtained 814,481 or 50.64 percent, while Weah George Manneh obtained 793,914 or 49.36 of the votes,” announced Madam Davidetta Brown Lanssanah, Chairperson of NEC.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the press, on this collection, the result of the Presidential Run-off indicate that the presidential ticket of the Candidate Boakai Joseph N. and Jeremiah K. Koung of UP, has the highest number of votes, 814,481 constituting s50.64 percent over Weah George Maneh and Jewel Howard-Taylor of CDC’s 793,914 constituting 49.36 votes. Hence, the presidential ticket of Candidate Boakai Joseph N. and Jeremiah K. Koung of the Unity Party is declared by the Commission as winner of the 14 November 2023 Run-off Election,” added the NEC boss in affirmation and confirmation of the results.
President Weah has since conceded defeat following the third of results at 99.58 percent of the votes counted and tallied.
In his concession speech played on the state-owned Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS), the Liberian leader congratulated the presumptive winner of the poll for his victory because the CDC is unable to surpass the numbers obtained by the UP.
“The results announced tonight, though not final, indicate that Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai is in a lead that we cannot surpass. Therefore, a few minutes ago, I spoke with President-elect Joseph N. Boakai to congratulate him on his victory,” President Weah pointed out.
The outgoing Liberian President craved the need for reconciliation for Liberians due to the high level of division brought forth by the political process.
“Tonight, as we acknowledge the results, let us also recognize that the true winners of these elections are the people of Liberia. Through your peaceful and orderly exercise of your constitutional right to vote, you have once again demonstrated your commitment to the democratic principles that bind us together as a nation.”
“Under my leadership, these elections were organized with a promise to the Liberian people – a promise of fairness, peace, inclusiveness, transparency, and credibility. I am proud to say that we have fulfilled that promise. The Liberian people have spoken, and we have heard their voice.”
“However, 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,” he among other things stated.
The Presidential run-off was necessitated by the failure of any of the 20 political parties, most especially with none of the two forerunners satisfying Article 83(b) of the Liberian Constitution, which requires a presidential candidate to win through an absolute majority.
Article 83(b) of the Liberian Constitution – organic law of the country states that: “All elections of public officers shall be determined by an absolute majority of the votes cast. If no candidate obtains an absolute majority in the first ballot, a second ballot shall be conducted on the second Tuesday following. The two candidates who received the greatest numbers of votes on the first ballot shall be designated to participate in the run-off election.”
But contrary to this this constitutional requirement, President Weah of the ruling CDC then obtained CDC 804,087 or 43.83 percent of the votes, while main opposition leader Boakai of the UP got 796,961 votes, which constitute 43.44 percent of the total valid votes cast.