Liberia: Pres. Weah Concedes Defeat to President-elect Boakai in Historic Election

President George Weah has conceded defeat to President-elect Joseph Boakai, marking a historic moment in Liberia's political landscape.

An official post from the Executive Mansion says "President Weah has congratulated Former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai as winner of the 2023 presidential runoff election.

"President Weah called Mr. Boakai via telephone following the announcement of provisional results by the National Elections Commission (NEC) on Friday, November 17, 2023.

The Liberian Chief Executive said Liberians are the winners of the elections and called on his support to accept the results."

Earlier, Gbarpolu Senator-elect Amara Konneh, a close aide of Boakai, made a disclosure in a Facebook post stating that Weah had called and Amb. Boakai to concede defeat.

Konneh expressed gratitude for President Weah's commitment to upholding Liberia's democracy, stating, "President Weah has placed his concession call to President-elect Joseph Boakai. We thank him for his commitment to upholding Liberia’s democracy. Our democracy survives! Let the reconciliation process begin."

Henry Costa, a campaign aide to the president, took to Facebook to acknowledge the historic moment.

"President Weah, thank you for making history yet again today. I was deeply moved by your utmost respect for our democracy and the peace of our nation," Costa wrote.

He continued, "As for the winner, congratulations to President-Elect Joseph N. Boakai on your victory. The election is over. It's now time to move on and focus on nation-building and reconciliation. This country is deeply divided as the election results indicate. I wish you all the best."

With 99.58% of all polling places nationwide reporting (5,865 out of 5,890), Boakai securing victory with 814,212 votes, representing 50.89%, while President Weah followed closely with 785,778 votes, accounting for 49.11%. The margin between the two candidates is 28,434 votes, a difference of 1.78%.

Boakai's victory is historic as he becomes the second presidential candidate in Liberia's history to return a former ruling party to power since 1878 when former President Anthony W. Gardiner achieved the same feat with the True Whig Party.

In a significant twist, President Weah's loss makes him the first president in Liberia's history to fail in his reelection bid. This defeat comes just six years after he won against Boakai in the 2017 runoff, securing a decisive win with 61.5% to 38.5%, following a 10% margin victory in the first round. The nation now looks toward the future, hoping for a period of reconciliation and unity under President-elect Boakai's leadership.