By Lincoln G. Peters
Opposition candidate Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai has maintained a narrow lead against incumbent President George Manneh Weah after the National Elections Commission (NEC) announced 86.71 percent of the total votes cast.
Boakai, the opposition Unity Party (UP) candidate, and Mr. Weah of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) met in a presidential run-off election on Tuesday, 14 November 2023, their second time in such electoral battle.
The NEC declared the run-off after the results of the 10 October 2023 presidential and legislative elections showed that none of the 20 presidential candidates in the race obtained 50 percent plus one of the total votes cast to be declared a winner.
In November 2017, Boakai and Weah battled in a run-off election which the latter won as an opposition candidate.
The NEC will continue to announce results in the coming days as Liberians wait eagerly to hear the outcome of the decision they made on 14 November.
With 86.71% of the votes counted so far, Mr. Boakai, the country’s immediate past vice president, is leading with 712,741 votes or 50.58% while incumbent President Weah follows with 696,520 votes or 49.42 %.
The NEC began releasing preliminary results on Wednesday, 15 November 2023.
On Thursday, the NEC continued releasing preliminary reports from just 517 out of 5,890 polling places across the Country.
Reading the national progressive tally results at the NEC headquarters in Monrovia Thursday, November 16, 2023, NEC chairperson Madam Davidetta Brown-Lansanah said the results came from 517 of the total of 5,890 polling places across the country, constituting 86.71%.
She said Boakai’s Unity Party obtained 712,741 votes amounting to 50.58% while Weah’s ruling Coalition for Democratic Change obtained 696,520 votes constituting 49.42%.
“I now present National Presidential results progressive tally report consolidated. 517 polling places of the total of 5,890 polling places constituting 86.71%,” said Madam Brown-Lansanah
She reported that candidate Boakai of the opposition Unity Party obtained 50.58% of the votes while candidate Weah obtained 49.42%.
The NEC chairperson put the total valid votes at 1,409, 261, constituting 100%, while the total invalid votes are 22,127. She also reported a total vote of 1,431,388.
Meanwhile, the National Election Commission has completed the vote tally in three of Liberia’s fifteen counties.
The three counties completed by the NEC include Lofa, Bong, and Bomi Counties.
In Bomi County, she reported that Amb. Boakai obtained 23,359 votes constituting 59.62.%, while President Weah accumulated 15,820 votes, amounting to 40.38%.
In Lofa County, Madam Brown-Lansanah reported that candidate Boakai accumulated 75,373 votes amounting to 64.60%, while President Weah got 41,298 votes amounting to 35.40%.
In Bong County, she said Amb. Boakai accumulated 64,194 votes amounting to 47.08%, while President Weah got 72,159 votes, amounting to 52.92%.