By Kemo Cham
Liberia’s incumbent President George Weah has conceded defeat, hours after the Electoral Commission announced provisional results from Tuesday’s run-off election, showing him trailing behind his main rival, Joseph Boakai.
The Executive Mansion, the office of the President, issued a statement saying Mr Weah on Friday evening made a telephone call to Mr Boakai and congratulated him.
Mr Weah later addressed the nation and confirmed calling Mr Boakai to congratulate him.
In the statement, the former football star called on his supporters to follow his example by accepting the results.
He also praised the electoral commission for a “job well done”, noting that they had earned the resect of Liberians and Liberia’s partners.
“To night, the CDC has lost the election, but Liberia has won,” he said, adding: “This is atime for graciousness in defeat, a time to place our country above party, and patriotism above personal interest.”
Boakai, 78, served as vice president under Africa’s first female president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, from 2006 to 2018. He lost to Weah in the 2017 election.
Latest results announced by the electoral commission on Friday gave Boakai 50.89% of the total votes counted, against Weah’s 49.11%.
National Electoral Commission chairperson, Davidetta Brown Lansanah, said the results announced constituted 99.6% of all polling centers.
The final election results would be announced after investigations on some results which were discovered to contain irregularities, Mrs Lansanah said.
According to Liberian constitution, the new president will take office in January.