The former President of Liberia and football legend, George Weah, has acknowledged defeat to opposition leader Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai, who led by 51 percent according to the run-off poll results.
In a statement dated November 17, 2023, Weah expressed his disappointment in the loss but congratulated the president-elect on his victory.
“I stand before you tonight with a heavy heart, but with the utmost respect for the democratic process that has defined our nation. As your president and the leader of the Coalition for Democratic Change, I want to address you on the outcome of the run-off elections held on November 14, 2023,” the statement read in part.
“The results announced tonight, though not final, indicate that Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai is in a lead that is insurmountable. A few moments ago, I spoke with President-elect Joseph N. Boakai to congratulate him on his victory and to offer my sincere commitment to working with him for the betterment of our beloved Liberia,” he said.
“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to President-elect Boakai, his supporters, and his campaign team. May his presidency be marked by success for all Liberians, and may our nation prosper under his leadership,” he added.
He also congratulated the Liberian people for exercising their constitutional right to vote.
“Tonight, as we acknowledge the results, let us also recognise 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,” he said.
President-elect Boakai, 78, was a former vice president and lost to Weah in the 2017 election. He led with 50.9% of the vote over Weah’s 49.1%, with nearly all the votes counted, according to Liberia’s elections commission on Friday.
Liberia as a country has suffered from two civil wars, resulting in the deaths of over 250,000 people between 1989 and 2003, and from 2013 to 2016, the Ebola epidemic killed thousands.
However, many Boakai supporters are looking forward to him doing what Weah did not do, like alleviating poverty and improving the country’s crumbling infrastructure.