-Pres. Weah encourages CDCians

By Jerromie S. Walters

As the National Elections Commission (NEC), has announced over 99 percent of the total votes cast during the recent runoff election, with opposition Unity Party’s Joseph Nyuma Boakai in the lead, incumbent President George Weah has extended congratulations to the Unity Party Standard.

In a telephone late Friday, November 17, 2023, President Weah congratulated Mr. Boakai, and wished him the very best as he ascends to the presidency.

“Let me assure you that this is one Liberia, and I can assure you that we are willing to work together-“ the President elect guaranteed his commitment to work with the outgoing President.

Following the telephone conversation, in an audio address late Friday, President articulated- “The results announced by NEC, though not final, indicate that Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai is In a lead that we can not surpass.”

He continued, “As we acknowledge the results, let us also recognize that the true winners of these elections are the proof Liberia, through your peaceful and orderly exercise of your constitutional right to vote. You have once again demonstrated your commitment to the democratic principles that bound us together as a nation.”

He referenced his government’s commitment to respecting the electorate decision prior to the electoral processes, and with the outcome of the elections, he believes the actualized said assurance. “I’m pround to say that we have fulfilled that promise, the Liberian people have spoken and we have heard their voice. 

Following the climax of the entire electoral process, President Weah recommends the need for reconciliation, judging from his experience during the elections. “Unity is paramount for the love of mama Liberia,” he says. 

At the same time, the outgoing President  hailed his supporters for their commitment to his political quest, and admonished his them to accept the results.”Tonight, the CDC has lost the election, but Liberia has won.  This is a time for graciousness in defeat, a time to place our country above party, and patriotism above personal interest. I remain your President until the handover of power, and I will continue to work for the good of Liberia. Let us heal the divisions caused by the campaign and come together as One Nation and One United People.

Though the outcome of the November 14, 2023, election didn’t go in their interest, he believes it’s a break for a new journey for the party. He tells his supporters- “Our time will come again.”

“Under my leadership, these elections were organized with a promise to the Liberian people – a promise of fairness, transparency, and credibility. I am proud to say that, for the most part, we have fulfilled that promise. The Liberian people have spoken, and their choice will be honored and obeyed. At this juncture, I would like to congratulate the National Elections Commission for a job well done.  You have earned the respect of all Liberians, our foreign partners, international observers, and the world at large for completing this difficult task to the satisfaction of all stakeholders, including the contesting parties.”

He adds- “However, the closeness of the results reveals a deep division within our country. As we transition to the new Boakai administration, we must be vigilant to the dangers of division and work together to find common ground. Now, more than ever, unity is paramount for the love of Mama Liberia.

To the members of the Mighty Coalition for Democratic Change, fellow partisans, CDCians, Weahcians, auxiliaries, first-time voters, campaign managers, and party leaders, I understand that this is not the outcome we desired.  Although we did not emerge victorious, your hard work and support have been the backbone of our campaign, and for that, I am deeply grateful.”

Saturday’s consolidated results announced by the National Elections Commission (NEC), puts Amb. Boakai of the UP at 814,428 votes(50.64%), ahead of incumbent President George Weah who has 793,910 votes (49.36%). This covers 5,889 of 5,890 polling places from the recent runoff election.

LIberians visited the polls Tuesday, November 14, 2023, in the presidential runoff election. Unlike the October 10, 2023, elections- the November 14, 2023, runoff election displayed a low voter turnout during the initial phase, in several counties cross Liberia. Reports from Montserrrado, Nimba, Lofa, Bong, Bomi, Geand Bassa, River Gee, Maryland, Lofa and a scores of other counties throughout the process, showed a very low turnout of electorate. Like several other counties, the euphoria at the Jawoe Manalah Public School in Gboata, Bong County, revealed a scene of less than two dozens of electorates.Moreover, this is similar to the scene from a precinct at the Cuttington University campus in Bong County.

In Margibi, voters attendance in the round off election in District# 4 Margibi County, at St. Augustine Episcopal Mission High School at polling place 1, and 2 was very poor. Also, it was similar situation at the EJ Yancy Annex, District #3, Margibi County and several other seats in the county. The turnout of voters during a runoff election is crucial for the democratic process and the legitimacy of the final outcome. However, it was observed that the number of voters that participated in the recentelection was significantly lower than expected.

Scores of citizens we spoke with say several factors could potentially contribute to this low turnout, including- voters trucking, and reluctance of voters because they believe the process isn’t tense like the previous elections. 

The National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia released the final results from the October 10, 2023, legislative and presidential elections, and it sit the stage for a runoff scheduled for November 14, 2023. The NEC declared that after a thorough and transparent electoral process, no candidate secured the 50% +1 vote majority to claim an outright victory. “With the results of the 10 October polls showing that no presidential ticket obtained 50% of the votes, a runoff elections is hereby declared to be held on Tuesday, 14 November between the two tickets that obtained the highest votes of the CDC and UP,” the NEC boss revealed.