By Emmanuel wise Jipoh
With 72.92 percent of the total votes for the Presidency already tallied across Liberia’s 15 political sub-divisions (Counties) in the 2023 election, incumbent President George Manneh Weah of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) maintains a narrow lead of 43.80 percent against his main challenger, Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai of the Unity Party (UP) with 43.50 percent, in a tight Presidential race that is likely to head to a runoff battle between the two, as the National Elections Commission (NEC) sums up votes tallied across the country.
Tally sheet completed and announced Sunday, October 15, 2023 by the NEC places President Weah narrowly ahead with Five- hundred, Ninety- three- Thousand, Five- Hundred and Fifty- Eight (593,558) votes, accumulating to 43.80 %, while Amb. Joseph Boakai of the UP, follows closely with Five Hundred, Eighty-Nine Thousand, Nine Hundred and Seventy-Seven (589,977) votes, representing 43.54%.
Either side needs 50 percent plus one of the total votes cast across the country to win the Presidency, as required by the Constitution of Liberia.
According to the NEC, votes count continues today, Monday, October 16, 2023 as the Commission moves to completing and announcing final results for the Presidential and Legislative elections, conducted on Tuesday, 11 October.
NEC Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansana, urges the public to remain calm, as tallying of votes will be completed in time.
Madam Lansana rubbishes political parties and candidates’ self-proclaim victory, while assuring that the electoral body is the only eligible body responsible to announce official results of the elections.
Data Analysis released by the Commission also shows that incumbent President Weah leads in eight of the fifteen counties, namely; Grand Gedeh, Grand Bassa, Grand Kru, Maryland, Sinoe, River Gee, Montserrado and River Cess, while Amb. Boakai keeps a strong grip on Nimba, Lofa, Gbarpolu, Bomi, Margibi, Grand Cape Mount and Bong, respectively.
Weah, 56, campaigned vigorously in all 15 counties, with a message of development and asking electorate to keep reposing trust in him to complete ongoing development.
The President has boasted that his government has done so much for Liberia in five-years, building hospitals, infrastructure while educating the youth. On the other hand, his main rival, Boakai, campaigned on the slogan, “Rescue Team” that seeks to rescue Liberia and Liberians from the bad policies of President Weah. Editing by Jonathan Browne