Strong Start for Weah But Run-off Unavoidable, Initial Results Show

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Based on the progressive tally by the NEC as at October 12, the above chart shows the distribution of valid votes in the presidential race between CDC (blue), UP (green) and other parties collectively (grey)

Official preliminary results in the presidential election, announced by the National Elections Commission (NEC) yesterday, showed Sen. George Manneh Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) leading his nearest opponent, Joseph N. Boakai of the Unity Party (UP) by staggeringly wide margin of 31,150 votes.

The initial results could shock some UP supporters, since CDC appears to be making headways in regions that were once under the control of UP. However, a deeper analysis of the trends implied by these initial results shows that the margin of votes so far between the CDC and the UP is 10%.

According to the initial results released by NEC yesterday, the total valid votes counted so far amount to 349,357, out of a total of 371,378. The difference between these two figures constitutes the invalid votes, amounting to 22,021 (5.93%).

And what might lend hope to the lagging UP is the fact that the total valid votes so far can be divided into three nearly equal parts, albeit CDC having the larger share: 137,606 (39.39%). UP trails with 106,456 (30.47), while collectively the valid votes accrued to other 18 presidential candidates amounts to 105,295 (30.14%).

If the trend of valid votes continues as it has started, the possibility of a run-off might be almost unavoidable.  Then, in the case of a run-off, the battle between the two arc-hrivals would be for the 30.14% of those who voted for the other 18 candidates in order the reach the presidency.

Coalition for Democratic Change standard bearer George M. Weah and Unity Party standard bearer Joseph N. Boakai could end up in a 2nd-round election to decide who becomes President of Liberia

Addressing both local and international journalists, as well as local and international elections observers, at the headquarters of the Commission, NEC chairman Jerome George Korkoya said the progressive tally report is not a final result; and as such, people should be mindful of how they go about interpreting it.

“The National Elections Commission is pleased to reemphasize that it is the only legally constituted authority that is given the mandate to conduct national elections and report their results as we are here to do today,” Korkoya said.

Announcing the results, he said inasmuch as 20 presidential candidates contested the most revered political seat, the CDC, UP and a very few of the remaining parties seem to have done well in accumulating votes as compared to the rest.

“It is important to note that only results from the NEC are official. Any other results from political parties or anyone else are unofficial and should not be considered as valid,” he noted.

Touching on the first progressive tally report for president and vice president, he announced that Sen. Weah as receiving, from yesterday’s report, 6950 votes (13.5 percent) while Boakai received 1,786 (8.3 percent) of votes in Grand Bassa County, after 78 of the 388 polling centers, which constitute 20.10 percent of the total results from the county.

In Nimba, the two contenders each received 1,848 votes (7.1 percent) of preliminary valid votes counted and 4,744 (18.1 percent) respectively, as 94 of the 699 polling centers (13.45 percent) reported; while Sen. Prince Y. Johnson again showed his control over the county by widely receiving 13,786 votes.

The CDC standard bearer received 12,883 and 28,233 votes respectively in River Gee and Bong counties. The two figures constitute 60.7 percent of 83 reported polls of 95 (87.37 percent) and 39.4 percent out of 241 reported polling centers of 502 overall centers, which amount to 48. 01 percent of the overall reported to the NEC. Boakai, meanwhile, received 3,369 and 24,367 votes from the two counties. The two results constitute 15.9 percent and 34.0 percent from 83 of the 95 centers.

In Gbarpolu and Rivercess, Weah received 3,075 and 2,873 votes respectively and the two results constitute 41.6 percent and 36.1 percent out of 26 of 133 centers (19.55 percent) and 31 of 97 centers (31.96 percent), while Boakai received 2,768 or 37.4 percent and 1,089 votes of the same centers across the two counties.

The heat between the two continued as the CDC standard bearer took a gigantic leap by obtaining 3,982 votes or (58.2 percent in the 28 reported centers of the 99 polling centers set up there) in Grand Kru, while Boakai received 742 votes, which amounts to 10.8 percent.

In Bomi and Sinoe, the football legend snatched 3,763 and 9391 votes respectively while the ruling Unity Party (UP) standard bearer got 2,807 and 1771 votes respectively. This means the two candidates got 44.4 percent; 69.3 percent and 33.1 percent and 13.1 percent respectively after 32 of 158 and 49 out of 136 polling centers.

Maryland gave CDC 3892 votes from 42 of 156 polling centers while the UP head received 1,612 votes. These constitute 36.2 percent and 15.0 percent respectively while Margibi gave the former 13,270 votes and 10,720 votes for the latter. The two results from Margibi are from 107 of the 382 polling centers, which constitute 42.8 percent and 34.6 percent of the votes counted.

Lofa, meanwhile, was dominated by Boakai as he snatched 27,614 votes from 123 of 417 polling centers while Weah got 2,036 votes. The two results account for 78.1 percent and 5.8 percent of the votes counted at the 123 polling centers. Going forward the CDC leader snatched 4,462 and 2,663 votes from Grand Gedeh’s 24 of 167 centers and 22 of 171 centers in Cape Mount County. The two results amounted to 76.1 percent and 46.4 percent respectively while Boakai got 704 and 2,152 votes each from the two counties. His percentages came up to 12.0 percent and 37.5 percent respectively.

More shocking to the ruling party is when CDC once again proved that it has control over Montserrado, the most populous county by snatching 38,285 votes while UP received 20,211 votes. The two results amounted to 50.4 percent and 26.6 percent respectively. Out of 1790 polling centers set up in the county 252 have so far reported.

Summing these results so far, Boakai has a total 106,456 while Weah has a total of 137,606 votes, leaving a margin of 31,150 votes. NEC will today continue its announcement of preliminary results.

22 COMMENTS

  1. Liberian voters have resolved not to extend 12 years failure of UP regime to another 6 years! Enough is enough!

  2. It seems premature in concluding that only VP Boakai and Senator Weah will make it to the runoff when only about 17% of registered voters’ votes have been reported. I do agree with this reporter that if the trend continues as is then it is likely only these two will make it to the runoff, but it’s too early to write off people like Cummings or the others at this stage of the counting. For those who are reading too much into these early results, you don’t want to believe that out of 2.1 million registered voters only 371,378 actually showed up to vote. NEC is right for us to desist from calling early victory at this early stage of the game. Wait until 60-70% of the precincts are reported and if the trend continues then, maybe, you can start predicting…but for now let’s watch the results

  3. The Liberian people and the world body were notified by the NEC yesterday that the counting of ballots is in full swing. While that is good news, others, possibly supporters of sen. Weah have informed media feeds worldwide that sen. Weah has won the election. Well, I guess fake news is alive and well in Liberia. The very supporters of sen. Weah who perpetrated such falsehoods have shown poor judgement. The faking of news must stop.

  4. Now that the voters of Liberia have voted, I guess contingency plans are underway as to how our beloved country will be governed. If I were asked to throw in my pennies and dimes, I’d say that the Liberian constitution needs to be revised or amended.

    How?
    Answer: Presidential term-limit!
    Two proposals….

    1. I strongly feel that presidential elections
    should be called for every four years instead of six years, and (or)

    2. Instead of running to be re-elected, a presidential term-limit of 6 years maximum must be set! In other words, once a constitutional elected president has served his or her 6 years maximum, he is out! Completely out!

    The caveat….under this scenario, the vice president of the president who has already served, can run for his or her own term.

    Two major examples: Scenario #1…
    1. In North America, the people of the United States of America elect or re-elect a president every four years. Fact!

    2. In Africa, the people of Nigeria elect or re-elect a president after every four years. Fact!

    Scenario 2…(6-year term-limit in Liberia)
    1.. South Korea vs. Liberia
    There is a mandated term-limit of 5 years a president serves in South Korea. That’s it. Can Liberia do that? The readers’ opinion!

    Conclusion
    You might ask…how is this thing beneficial to the people of Liberia?
    Answer…
    Twelve years are too long to serve a body of people. Eight years are better than twelve. At least 6 years of corruption are better than 12 years of corruption. The more an African leader stays in power, the more corrupt she/he gets. Liberia has got a bunch of talented politicians. Please, don’t let them die without giving them the opportunity to serve.

    I have more pennies and dimes. What do you think?

  5. Indeed it is promising to note that voting was peaceful and to see the reporting of these election results, but what is conspicuously absence is reporting on the referendum on term limits and other questions. Help me out somebody, but weren’t these questions supposed to be part of the ballot for this general election? Am I missing something? I noticed the euphoric surrounding the incoming results, but nothing is being said or reported about those questions…

  6. Comment: the six year single term in Liberia is good for now, for a continuous political stability bcos the country is still fragile for political unrest. maybe constitutional amendment can bring it to say 4 or 5 yrs in the near future but not now. weah deserve to win for his effort on nation-building immediately after the war.

    • Hey Farady – we do not have a 6 single-year term in Liberia as it stand, instead we have a 6 two-year terms for the presidency, unless you are suggesting a 6 single-year term.

      As I recalled Liberians overwhelmingly went for reducing the tenure of elected officials during an exercise that was supposed to be presented in a referendum for voters to decide. I am taken aback of your suggestion that the current tenure of our elected officials is “good for now.” Why did the nation go through the exercise and waste if the citizens wanted the same thing?

      I understand the desire for stability and I do agree with you, but I do disagree that maintaining the current tenure for the presidency and the legislature is the only way to maintain political stability. In fact the opposite is likely to be true; it gives voters very little recourse for redress if the elected official does not live to their expectations and the only recourse the voters have is to wait until that official’s time is up for re-election. Think about six years for president, nine years for senators and six years for representatives.

  7. We pray for divine intervention in the selection of the next president. May the good LORD bless both Joe and George for their service to our beloved Mother Liberia.

  8. An anonymous philosopher once said, “The best leaders are those most interested in surrounding themselves with assistants and associates smarter than they are and being frank in admitting this, and willing to pay for such talents.” President Obama used this strategy effectively.

    Whosoever wins this run-off election (Joe Bokai or George Weah), his primary goal is to unite the people of Liberia regardless of political affiliation. Without a united country, it is difficult to effectively carry out the duties of the president.

    With all the mess Liberia has been through, Liberia needs a God fearing leader: a breach-builder and not a divider. Liberia needs a leader who is a team player, reconciler, and not a leader who is spiteful.

    To speed up our economic development: health system, educational system, infrastructure development, market economy, and foreign trade, Liberia needs a leader who will surround himself with the best minds and talents even if it means embracing talents from other political parties. A leader who will take criticism when he is not performing in accordance to the constitution and the mandates he promised to carry out.

    Over the years, we have seen the worst of humanity caused by the atrocities Liberians inflicted on their fellow Liberians. We destroyed our own country! Let’s us put our foolish pride and personal egos aside and put “The Love of Liberia and The Liberian People First”. This is indeed true Leadership.

    There is no way this little country of ours will ever prosper, despite our “Native/Conqua” intermarriages and social cohesion, if we continue to practice the evils that destroyed our beautiful country.

    The evil that destroyed Liberia are: war, violence, tribalism, egotism, murder, crimes, ethnic stereotypical division “Native vs. Congo”, racism, prejudice, economic and social division, sexism, nepotism, animosity, corruption, moral decadence, financial greed, hunger for power, constitutional tampering to extend term limits, political dominance: dictatorship, poor governance, financial mismanagement, ritualistic killings….voodoos, Satanic worship, stealing, sexual immorality, homosexuality, lesbianism, drug abuse, drunkenness, lying, last but not all, the rapid diminishing fear of God in this new Liberian dispensation.

    As we prepare Liberia for this generation and the next generation, let us all unite for the sake of our country. We are all Liberians. This is the only country we have. We should work together to build what we destroyed! If some foreign nation attacks us, I bet, every Liberian will unite to fight them off be it so-called “Native or Conqua”.

    I pray that our new Leader puts God first in his daily deliberations and do the right thing to unite this divided and broken nation of ours.

    • Thanks! Alpha C; You’ve made some very important points. If you please, allow me to add on; a quote from our late President, W.V.S.Tubman: “Let all Liberians go about freely and INTER-MINGLE”. With “LOVE”, we can absolutely conquer our “DIVISIVENESS”. Thank you plenty; to all the Congo/Americo Liberian FEMALES who have decided to date a Kollie, Kerkula, Yarkpawolo Tamba… You are among the greatest unifiers in Liberia.

  9. Liberians voted without seeing practicable elections’ platform from any of the presidential candidates, something so essential in a political culture of broken promises. In the below excerpt from the October 12, 2017 issue of the “Washington Post”, I thought younger readers would find this example of a plank of a platform – providing public higher education free of charge – resonating.

    Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous said:

    “College is as important in the 21st century as high school was in the 20th century … the plan will be paid for by cutting corrections costs”, meaning from expenditure for maintaining prisoners who are mostly nonviolent drug users.

    That’s a potentially “say and do” par exellence. Well, in Liberia, we haven’t heard a peaceful democratic transfer of power for seven decades therefore the cart is put in front of the horse, as in get elected president and worry over implementable policy proposals later.

    But we can’t wish away fulfilling campaign promises, and it is our hope that isn’t forgotten in all the hurly burly of the moment. We pray for continuous peace during these crucial events and may God save Liberia.

  10. Wise political leaders will begin negotiations with other parties for the Run-off elections in November, instead of claiming first round victory.
    Avoid the repeat of 2005.

  11. Faraday,
    What I suggest for Liberia is a 6-year term limit. Okay? What this means is this: When a president is elected, she or he must serve only 6 years. That’s it. Mr. Faraday, let me explain that another way. Okay, let’s say Boakai gets elected. He will serve for only 6 years. Then when his or term is up, well then, the Liberian people will go to polls again to vote for another person for only 6 years.

    Mr. Faraday, that is what I mean by term limit. You see, the country of South Korea has a 5-year term limit presidency. After the South Korean president serves his or her 5 years, he’s out it. The people in that dunt ask questions. That say thank you, your 5 years finish.

    In our country, Liberia, when a president serves 6 years, the same president can run again for 6 more years. Just like what Ma Ellen did. You see my point now? But under my plan, after every 6 years, you gone. Take youself and your Liberian trouble.

    My God, 12 years of corruption is too much, man. So, let us make it for just 6 years. My people, y’all help me push this thing. It good for us. Example, you Mr. Faraday I am looking at, you sound presidential. I will keep my eyes on you. Who knows, I may vote for you for only 6 years when you run for the presidency six years from now. But my man, after those 6 years, I beg your trouble. Leave the mansion to us and go. I now put something in your mind.

    I thank all of y’all who will laugh after y’all finish reading my comment. It not for brother Faraday alone. Y’all good nite ol.

  12. I am hoping that from this election, we will learn to treat all subsequent elections as if our lives depends on them. As a matter of fact, they do, don’t you think? As we’ve seen through out Africa, when elections are not conducted poorly, violence ensues with lots of deaths and destruction taking place; I don’t think we need this. We can and should do a whole lot more to ensure that our elections, which usually creates matters of national security are very clean and fair by making sure the results are known 4 hours after the elections!

    Now, am sure some of you will say, “we don’t have what it takes to make this happen”. I say make it happen. Why should we keep on messing up and think it’s cool? You can’t convince me that we are not able to put in place the system required to make this possible, when senators are making over $200,000 dollars a year, for really doing nothing. Some of you don’t think we can’t use common sense to count all the results in 4 hours by counting them by hand, but I believe that’s what must be done to make sure the elections results are known the same day, until a better and quicker system is put in place!

    We have six years to clean up this mess and am hoping that the new government will make this a top priority by making sure from day one of taking power, a clean and more advanced method of dealing with this mess will be put in place; the people of Liberia in particular and Africa as a whole, want to see their governments doing better than the backwardness we’ve seen all over the place in recent years, which have brought about conflicts and destruction of lives and properties; we know you know we deserve and demand better by you; do it now!

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