Liberia’s President George Weah and opposition leader Joseph Boakai are nearly tied in the race for the presidency following an Oct. 10 election, provisional results published by the West African nation’s election commission showed on Sunday.
Weah holds a slim lead at 43.80% of the vote, while Boakai has 43.54%, according to tallied results from 72.92% of polling places, the commission said.
To avoid a runoff, the winner must secure more than 50% of the votes cast.
President George Weah has risen to the top, only two days after former Vice President Joseph Boakai took an early lead.
Weah presently leads with 216,344 votes, or 44.56% of the total, followed closely by Boakai with 207,217 votes, or 42.69% of the votes, according to figures made public by the National Elections Commission. Weah is running on behalf of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), while Boakai is running on behalf of the opposition Unity Party (UP). In the early hours of the voting on October 10, Boakai, the former vice president of Liberia, had led Weah, a former international football player turned politician.
According to observers, the race’s closeness is a reflection of Liberians’ need for economic stability and their yearning for change. The election results thus far demonstrate the great interest and investment of the Liberian people in their political fate, even though Weah and Boakai have offered opposing ideas for the future of the nation.
Experts pointed out that for either Boakai or Weah to emerge victorious in the presidential race, at least two of the top five vote-rich counties—Nimba, Bong, Margibi, and Lofa—as well as Montserrado, the country’s most populous county, needed to be decisively held by one of them.
On November 7, there will be a runoff if neither of the two front-runners receives less than 50% of the vote in the first round.
The results of the election must be announced by the NEC within 15 days after the vote date. This implies that on October 25th, or possibly earlier, the election’s outcome will be announced.
As Liberia’s first democratically elected leader since 1944, Weah rode to victory in 2017 and made history. The polls on October 10 are being portrayed as a referendum on the incumbent