Joseph Boakai, an opposition leader in Liberia, is on the brink of becoming the country’s next president, according to preliminary election results announced on Friday. With nearly all votes counted, Boakai holds a narrow lead over the incumbent, George Weah.
Boakai, a former vice president who lost to Weah in the 2017 election, centered his campaign around the idea of rescuing Liberia from what he perceives as mismanagement under Weah’s administration. The first term of Weah’s presidency was marred by accusations of corruption.
As of the latest update, Boakai leads with 50.89% of the vote, while Weah trails behind at 49.11%. These figures are based on results from 99.6% of polling stations, as reported by the country’s elections commission. The final results are expected to be announced in the coming days.
This potential outcome represents a stark reversal from the 2017 election, where Weah secured a resounding victory with 62% of the vote. However, since then, many Liberians have grown disillusioned with the lack of progress in addressing fundamental issues such as poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, and inadequate electricity supply.
Boakai, a seasoned politician admired for his soft-spoken demeanor, currently holds a lead of more than 28,000 votes over Weah. The outcome of the first round of voting in October left both candidates neck-and-neck, necessitating a runoff election that took place on Tuesday.
Liberia continues to face significant challenges in recovering from two devastating civil wars that claimed the lives of over 250,000 people between 1989 and 2003. Additionally, the country grappled with a severe Ebola epidemic from 2013 to 2016, resulting in thousands of deaths.
Supporters of Boakai in the capital city of Monrovia expressed their excitement through dance, shouts, and horn honking in the rain when the near-final results were announced. However, Boakai’s spokesperson, Amara Konneh, emphasized the need to wait for the official confirmation of the final results before celebrating.
Q: Who is Joseph Boakai?
A: Joseph Boakai is an opposition leader and former vice president of Liberia. He contested the 2017 presidential election and is now on the brink of assuming the country’s presidency.
Q: Who is George Weah?
A: George Weah is the incumbent president of Liberia. He won the 2017 election but has faced criticism during his first term for alleged corruption and a lack of progress on key social and economic issues.
Q: What are some of the challenges Liberia is currently facing?
A: Liberia continues to deal with the aftermath of two devastating civil wars and the impact of a severe Ebola epidemic. The country also struggles with poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, and inadequate electricity supply.
Q: When will the final election results be announced?
A: The final results of the election in Liberia are expected to be announced in the coming days.