MONROVIA: There has emerged an anxious moment in the last phase of the 2023 general elections as two of the presidential candidates in the runoff, incumbent President George Manneh Weah and his main challenger, Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai battle for supremacy in a narrow race margin as the National Elections Commission (NEC) gets to the crucial portion of the protracted democratic process to announce additional results of the runoff today, Friday, November 19, 2023.
Speaking during the release of the consolidated results of the runoff election yesterday, Thursday, November 16, 2023, the Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Madam Davidetta Brown Lassanah said the collation of the results from the various counties has improved and is moving faster than when the process began shortly after the runoff election was conducted.
From yesterday’s results, the NEC boss announced that the Standard Bearer of the Unity Party, Ambassador Boakai polled 712,741 (50.58%) while President Weah garnered 696,520 (49.42%).
She thanked Liberia’s international development, the government of Liberia and other stakeholders for the “level of support the commission has been receiving since the commencement of this exercise”, and assured that the commission will deliver on its mandate with the results that will be respected and accepted by all.
She said after meticulously processing most of the results from a total of 5,107 polling places representing 87% of the total of 5890 polling places, the commission was pleased to announce the results in keeping with the law of the land and further announcements will be made until the entire results are announced and the eventual winner is declared.
She appealed to Liberians to continue to be patient and law abiding just like how they have been “conducting themselves before, during and after the two sets of elections”.
Both President Weah and former Vice President Boakai have a long history of political battles and the last runoff made it four instances they have engaged each other, having first contested both the first round and the second rounds of the presidential election of 2017. President Weah won on both occasion from where he became President at the end of the election which was contested by 21 other candidates.
Since 2018, the Unity Party standard bearer has been the leading challenger to President Weah, garnering a large support base as UP and other parties took on the ruling establishment for the soul of the 2023 general elections. Only UP survived against the incumbent CDC to the last end of the 2023 general elections.
If Boakai wins the election, Mr. Boakai would be getting a reward for his consistent opposition to President Weah since 2018 and would be hailed for ending the second term bid of President Weah whose popularity with the Liberian people to a large extent got him to the Presidency in 2017.
With a good number of polling places still outstanding to be counted, most of which are within his stronghold, Boakai stands a chance to grab the presidency at least finally at such an advanced age of 79, and may not be considering contesting elections in 2029.
On the other hand, President Weah who is seeking re-election if he succeeds with his pursuit will also be making history as the second Liberian president, next to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, his predecessor, who will be serving for 12 years straight in the presidency. Weah was elected in 2017 having lost to Madam Sirleaf in 2005 as rookie, rose up the ladder on the political field having contested as Vice President under Ambassador Winston Tubman in 2011, and successfully vied for the senate seat in 2014 for Montserrado and won. He was later to contest the Presidency in 2017, and under the change mantra, became President against Ambassador Boakai.
Breakdown of candidates’ performance
According the National Elections Commission, 5,107 of 5,890 polling places have so far been tallied, with the Unity Party receiving 712,741 votes, representing 50.58; while the Coalition for Democratic Change received 696,520 votes, representing 49.42% votes.
in Grand Gedeh County, a total of 129 of 163 polling places were tallied, with the CDC obtaining 29,847 votes, while the UP got 3,538 votes.
In River Gee County where 97 of 98 polling places were tallied, the CDC obtained 18,587 votes, while UP got 4,675 votes.
In Grand Bassa County where 216 of 405 polling places were tallied, CDC garnered 24,045 votes as opposed to UP which got 23,548 votes.
In Margibi County where 441 of 441 polling places were tallied, the UP received 64,160 votes, while the CDC got 54,676 votes.
Also, in Bomi County where 171 of 171 polling places were tallied, UP got 23,359 votes, while CDC got 15,820 votes.
In Bong County, where 555 of 555 polling places were tallied, CDC got 72,159 while UP got 64,194 votes.
In Maryland County where 174 of 175 polling places were tallied, UP got 7050 while CDC got 35,328 votes.
In Sinoe County where 114 of 152 polling places were tallied, UP got 3,968 votes while CDC obtained 19,841 votes.
In River Cess County where 92 of 105 polling places were tallied, UP got 4836 votes while CDC got 13,602 votes.
In Nimba County where 580 of 736 polling places were tallied, UP got 109,694 votes while CDC got 43,564 votes.
In Lofa County where Lofa 424 of 424 polling places were tallied, UP got 75,373 votes while CDC got 41,298 votes.
In Montserrado County where 1801 of 2008 polling places were tallied, UP got 299,098 votes while CDC got 283,174 votes.
In Grand Cape Mount County where 189 of 213 polling places were tallied, UP got 21,244 votes while CDC got 20,060 votes.
In Grand Kru where 82 of 110 polling places were tallied, UP got 2,394 votes while CDC got 20,012 votes.