Breaking: 78-year-old former Liberian Vice President wins presidential election

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Photo: Joseph Boakai, Liberia’s President-elect.

Breaking: 78-year-old former Liberian Vice President wins presidential election

Former Liberian Vice President and candidate of the Unity Party, Joseph Boakai, has emerged as the winner of the country’s presidential election.

Boakai, 78, was declared winner of othe polls after defeating 57-year-old incumbent President George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change in the second round of voting.

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The first round of voting held earlier did not yield a clear winner among the 20 presidential candidates participating, leading to the runoff between Messrs Weah and Boakai, the top two contenders.

Weah is a football legend and was the first African to win the World’s Footballer of the Year in his prime.

According to the results declared by the country’s electoral umpire, Boakai polled 814,212 votes of the available 1,625,684 votes, while Weah garnered 785,778 votes.

The voter turnout at the election was 65.77 per cent.

As of 4 pm Friday, the former vice president led George Weah with 28, 434 votes. The total ballot outstanding for counting was 25,694, which was apparent that Weah would not catch up Boakai even if he got all the pending votes.

Unlike the first round, where a winner must score over 50 per cent of the vote, a victor only needed a simple majority to be declared the winner of the second round.

Boakai had lost to Weah by a large margin in the second-round presidential vote in 2017.

Meanwhile, President Weah has conceded defeat and congratulated Boakai on his victory.

“A few moments ago, I spoke with president-elect Joseph Boakai to congratulate him on his victory.

“I urge you (his supporters) to follow my example and accept the results of the elections.

“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.

“Let us heal the divisions caused by the campaign and come together as one nation and one united people,” the President was quoted as saying in a statement.

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