As the tally nears completion in Liberia’s election, President George Weah and his primary competitor, Joseph Boakai, remain in a tight race, suggesting a possible run-off.
Current provisional results indicate that Mr. Weah holds 43.8 percent of the votes, closely trailed by Mr. Boakai with 43.5 percent. To secure victory, a candidate must secure more than 50 percent of the vote.
The election held on October 10, is deemed Liberia’s most closely contested presidential race since the conclusion of a civil war two decades ago. The intensity of this contest is evident in the fact that the electoral commission released the latest results after counting more than 98% of polling stations, with Mr. Weah held a slim lead of just 5,456 votes. A run-off will be held on November 7, after the announcement of official results.
George Weah, a former international football star, is seeking a second term as president. In the 2017 election, he won the run-off with 61.5 percent of the vote, while Mr. Boakai secured 38.5 percent. Mr. Weah had also secured the most votes in the first round of that election, suggesting that Mr. Boakai may have fared better in the recent poll.
Analysts say this might be the last attempt at the presidency for Mr Boakai, 78. He served as vice-president in the government of then-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to achieve peace and stability in Liberia following a brutal civil war that killed an estimated 250,000 people.