Political Titans’ Neck-to-Neck Race -Weah, Boakai Bogged Down In See-Saw Battle

MONROVIA: What was considered a walk in the park, an easy ride to victory, by both the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the former ruling Unity Party (UP) has turned out to be a leach in the flesh of each, and all the noises about first-round ballot hyped during the campaign and the initial count of poll results continue to be a far cry of the prevailing reality. Reports by the National Elections Commission yesterday, October 16, 2023, indicate the two archrivals have settled scores at around 43 percent, with an infinitesimal 0.05 percent difference between them, while the remaining chunks of votes to complete the count are grossly insignificant for anyone to grab the constitutional 50 percent plus one. As The Analyst reports, experts of numbers on both sides are doing the permutations and combinations but pundits believe a runoff hovers over the horizon.

For the sixth time running, the National Elections Commission (NEC) has released additional results from the October 10 poll, and as per the presidential contestations, there are signs the top candidates and parties—the ruling CDC and former ruling UP—are neck to neck with no clear winner so far.

The UP party shrunk the slight CDC lead of yesterday, taking over with 885 votes difference constitution a mere 0.05 percent.

According to the NEC, UP’s Joseph N. Boakai had got an overall votes of 748,463 and CDC’s George Manneh Weah got 747,548.

The seesaw battle between the two frontrunners, President George Manneh Weah and his closest rival, Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai of the Unity Party (UP) has put the nation in utter suspense, with none willing to bow.

But steadily, the vote wells are drying up and it is only a matter of hours because the final verdict comes out of the electoral management body.

What is now widely expected is not the one-round victory so profoundly hyped by the UP and CDC during the two-month elections period and at the onset of the vote count. What is rather expected, according to most pundits, is a runoff.

Two days before yesterday, CDC’s George Weah was leading UP’s Boakai, first with 13 thousand votes, then with three thousand votes before the former Vice President yesterday, October 16, 2023 took over from the President, sitting top at least slightly with 748,463 votes representing 43.70% compared to Weah’s 747,578 votes representing 43.65%.

Announcing the results yesterday, Monday, October 16, 2023, the Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Madam Davidetta Brown Lassanah said after initial hitches to get results from the countryside, there has been significant improvement in collating the outcome at the National collation center of NEC and that 5,467 out of the 5,890 polling places representing 92.08% has been declared with 423 polling places remaining.

Curiously enough there are 105,719 invalid votes recorded thus far which many attributed to the lack of enough voter’s education nationwide by stakeholders, especially NEC and the various political parties.

With the latest results released yesterday, the actual direction of the election is getting clearer that a possible runoff between Weah and Boakai is in sight, as none of them will be able to secure the constitutionally required 50 plus 1 percent for a candidate to get an outright first round victory.

Boakai had led Weah during the first day of count and Weah took off from the second day until yesterday when the counting entered the 6th day.

The remaining polling places are Bomi (1), Bong(63), Bassa( 62), Grand Cape Mount (66), Grand Gedeh (2), Grand Kru (1), Margibi (195), Maryland(8), Montserrado( 49), Nimba(3), Rivercess (0), Sinoe(32), River Gee(96) and Gbarpolu(0).

The below is the nationwide results from the various counties as of Monday, October 16, 2023:

Bomi County

JNB 25, 258@52.69%

GMW 18, 152@37.86%

Bong County

GMW-76,776 @ 43.8%

JNB- 67,124 @ 38.35%.

Grand Bassa County

GMW-39,348 @43.76%.

JNB-31,498 @ 35.03%.

Grand Cape Mount County

JNB-19,503 @ 45.01%.

GMW-17,866 @ 41.26%.

Grand Gedeh County

GMW-34,419 @ 78.16%.

.JNB-4,638 @ 10.53%.

Grand Kru County

GMW-24,222@ 79.53%.

JNB-2556 @8.9%.

Margibi County

JNB-36,856 @ 44.10%.

GMW-30,062 @. 40.05%

Montserrado County

JNB: 313,372 @ 46.36%

GMW: 312,496 @46.32@

Nimba County

JNB: 137,433 @59.53%

GMW: 50,269 @21.77%

River Cess County

GMW-15,398 @ 58.50%.

JNB-6,503 @ 24.1%.

Sinoe County

GMW-23,252 @ 77.76%.

JNB-3,421 @ 11.44%.

River Gee County

GMW-19,103 @ 70.2%.

JNB-4,417 @ 16.22%.

Gbarpolu County

JNB-16,703 @ 44.55%.

GMW-15,247 @ 40.05%.

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