Liberia election results: Joseph Boakai on track to defeat George Weah

Liberia election results: Joseph Boakai on track to defeat George Weah

The main opposition leader in Liberia, Joseph Boakai has maintained a slim lead in the Liberian presidential election after official results from more than 99.58 percent of polling stations have been announced.

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The 78-year-old political veteran had 50.89 percent of the votes, while incumbent President George Weah had 49.11 percent as of 6pm on Friday.

With 99.58 per cent of the national presidential runoff results declared, Boakai had 814,212 votes representing 50.89 per cent as against George Weah's 785,778 representing 49.11 per cent.

The two were separated by just over 7,000 votes in the first round in October, triggering Tuesday's run-off.

A former international football star, Mr Weah, 57, is seeking a second term.

He became president after comfortably defeating Mr Boakai, 78, in a run-off in 2017.

Mr Boakai served as vice-president in the government of Nobel Peace laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who stepped down as Liberia's leader after the 2017 election.

Liberia election results: Joseph Boakai on track to defeat George Weah

The latest results have sparked celebrations in the capital, Monrovia.

Mr Boakai's supporters have been gathering at his party's headquarters in the city, convinced that he has won the election.

They have been shouting for President Weah, who has served one term, to go and saying "we beat the Buga dancer", referring to a song that became associated with his campaign.

There have been no formal statements from either of the candidates.

The electoral commission says that it has announced the results from 99.58% of the polling stations following Tuesday's run-off election.

The vote at one polling station needed to be re-run on Saturday and discrepancies were noticed in results from 20 others, which are being investigated, National Elections Commission chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah said.

The run-off between Mr Boakai and Mr Weah was triggered after neither candidate got more than 50% of the vote in last month's first round. There were 18 other candidates.

In that election, the president got the largest vote share but was just 7,000 votes ahead of Mr Boakai.

The poll was the tightest presidential contest in Liberia since a civil war ended about two decades ago.

Mr Boakai's campaigning focused on the need to rescue the nation from what he calls "mismanagement" by Mr Weah's administration.

The president dismissed Mr Boakai's allegations, saying that he had made significant strides, including introducing free tuition for university students.

This is the fourth time a presidential election has taken place since the war ended.

Observers from the regional bloc, Ecowas, said the run-off was largely peaceful, the AFP news agency reports.

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However, there were isolated incidents that led to "injuries and hospitalisations" in the provinces of Lofa, Nimba, Bong and Montserrado, it quotes observers as saying.

With additional filings from the BBC

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