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Liberia: Boakai maintains early lead ahead of Weah

Liberia: Boakai maintains early lead ahead of Weah

As the National Elections Commission (NEC) methodically releases results from the October 10 polls, former vice president Joseph Boakai maintains his early lead over incumbent president George Weah in a close fight.

Since results were announced on October 11 and Weah, who was defeated by Boakai in the 2017 runoff election, has lagged behind Boakai, who is running for re-election.

According to election commission figures as of October 12, Boakai is ahead with 57,790 votes, or 46.27% of the vote, while Weah is in second place with 49,510 votes or 39.6% of the vote.

The next is Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe has already declared defeat despite the fact that results will continue to be announced up until the deadline of October 25. Gongloe received 4,483 votes, or 3.59% of the total, to rank third.

The votes represent information from at least 3,890 out of 5,860 polling locations nationwide, according to the NEC. Results from 11 of the 15 political subdivisions of the country are included in this data.

While Weah is running on the ticket of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Boakai is running on that of the opposition Unity Party (UP). Boakai received 58.53% of the vote in Bomi County, while Weah received 33.21%. Boakai won 44.72% of the votes.

Read also: Meet the five men who could become Liberia’s next president

The CDC received 86.01% of the votes in Grand Kru County, Weah’s home county, and the UP received 5.24%. In Lofa County, Boakai earned 49.36% of the vote, followed by the CDC with 27.79% and ALCOP with 9.52%.

Boakai earned 52.21% of the vote in Margibi County, followed by the CDC with 37.75% and GDM with 2.45%. The party received 48.39% of the vote in Montserrado County, which is thought to be a CDC stronghold, while UP received 46.23%.

UP garnered 54.99% of the votes in Nimba County, while the CDC came in second with 19.42%. Out of 105 voting locations in Rivercess County, 19 were recorded. The CDC received 2,852 votes, or 52.33% of the total, while UP received 1,985 votes, or 36.42%.

16 polling locations were reported for Sinoe County out of a total of 156 polling places. The CDC earned 3,839 votes, or 75.81% of the total, while the UP received 745 votes, or 14.71%.

Six polling stations, or 6.12% of the 98 polling places in River Gee County, were reported. The CDC received 1,321 votes, or 64.1% of the total, while UP received 480 votes, or 23.29 percent.

Of the 134 polling sites in Gbarpolu County, 40 polling places were recorded, accounting for 29.85% of the total. The CDC received 4,572 votes, or 36.82% of the total, while the UP received 6,122 votes, or 49.3%.

Read also: Boakai takes early lead in Liberia presidential race

Experts pointed out that in order for either Boakai or Weah to emerge victorious in the presidential race, at least two of the top five vote-rich counties—Nimba, Bong, Margibi, and Lofa—as well as Montserrado, the country’s most populous county, needed to be decisively held by one of them, the Liberian Observer said.

On November 7, there will be a runoff if none of the two front-runners receives less than 50% of the vote in the first round. The results of the election must be announced by the NEC within 15 days after the vote date.

This implies that on October 25th, or possibly earlier, the election’s ultimate outcome will be announced. As Liberia’s first democratically elected leader since 1944, Weah rode to victory in 2017 and made history. The polls on October 10 are being portrayed as a referendum on the incumbent.

Even though the results are not yet official, the chairman of the opposition Unity Party—of which Boakai is the presidential candidate—has declared that his party leaders have won the votes.

According to Rev. Luther Tarpeh, the Unity Party has reviewed about 90% of the tally sheets available, and it indicates that they have won the election in the first round.

“Thank you for voting for a new future,” Tarpeh told reporters at a news conference on October 12. “I can say to Liberians both home and abroad that the tallying sheets we have in our possession from the 15 counties of Liberia have shown clearly that the Unity Party is in the lead and Amb. Joseph N. Boakai is the next president.”

Tarpeh advised Unity Party supporters to maintain composure and wait for the official announcement, acknowledging that the NEC is the legally authorised entity in charge of declaring all election results.

Read also: Liberia’s election commission releases provisional results today

He said that Boakai is now the next president of Liberia and that the Unity Party and the people of Liberia should be proud, especially those who waited in the queue for hours to cast their votes for a brighter future.

“We want to remind you and say to Liberians both home and abroad that the Unity Party and the alliance are committed to keeping the peace of Liberia that we have enjoyed over the last 20 years, and it requires all of us to maintain, and the Unity Party is deeply committed to keeping the peace of Liberia,” Tarpeh said.

Montserrado County Senator and chairman of the Unity Party Montserrado County campaign team, Abraham Darius Dillon, reiterated that the Unity Party already has 90% of the tally sheets, and all indications show that Joseph Boakai is the winner of the presidential election.

Showcasing some of the tallying sheets, Dillon said the Unity Party is poised to invite the media and international observers to witness the process and get an idea of what’s happening at the party’s tallying centre.