As of Monday, Joseph Boakai was announced as the victor in Liberia’s presidential election, securing 50.64% of the vote. This resulted in the defeat of the incumbent, George Weah, who received 49.36%—a narrow margin of only 20,567 votes.
Weah conceded defeat on Friday evening, based on results that had come in from more than 99.9% of polling stations.
“Liberia has won,” Weah said on radio.
He said that he had spoken to Boakai, who he referred to as “president-elect” to congratulate him.
“This is a time for graciousness in defeat,” he said, adding “our time will come again”.
He was praised by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for conceding defeat and initiating a non-violent transition of power.
“Liberians have once again demonstrated that democracy is alive in the ECOWAS region and that change is possible through peaceful means,” ECOWAS said.
The bloc has condemned military coups that have taken power in four of the fifteen member countries and threatened to intervene militarily in Niger to reinstate the civilian government.
Similarly, the African Union said it “hails the statesmanship” of Weah, while also congratulating Boakai on the win.
Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu also hailed Weah’s statement conceding electoral defeat.
“He has defied the stereotype that peaceful transitions of power are untenable in West Africa,” Tinubu said.
US President Joe Biden also praised Weah’s concession of defeat.
“I congratulate Joseph Boakai on his election to be the next president of Liberia,” he said in a statement. “I also want to commend President Weah for respecting the will of the people, and putting patriotism above politics.”