Liberia’s elections board on Friday officially certified former international football star George Weah as the winner of the nation’s presidential election, following a tally of all results.
In the West African country’s first democratic transfer of power after two devastating civil wars, Weah beat Vice President Joseph Boakai in Thursday’s run-off vote, gaining 61.5 percent of the ballot against 38.5 percent for his rival and winning in 14 of Liberia’s 15 counties.
Weah’s CDC party won a total of 732,185 votes against Boakai’s Unity party, which garnered 457,579.
“Pursuant to the authority vested in the Commission by the Constitution and the new election law of the Republic of Liberia, and based on the results just read, I, acting on behalf of the board of commissioners, do hereby declare the presidential ticket of senator George Weah and Jewel Howard-Taylor as the winner from the December 26, 2017 presidential run-off election,” board president Jerome Korkoya said.
The results were nearly identical to those announced on Thursday evening by the commission after 98 percent of returns.
Weah is due to be sworn in on January 22, taking over from Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who in 2006 took over the country founded by freed US slaves.
Boakai conceded defeat on Friday and said he had called Weah to congratulate him. He also appealed for unity, saying: “My love for the country is far (more) profound than my desire for the presidency.”