Political parties in Liberia, Monday, October 16, began consultation on possible backing of George Weah or incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai for a run-off of the country’s presidential election. Liberian election body ordered run-off when both candidates did not secure 50 percent votes required to emerge clear winner.
George Weah is a presidential candidate for the on-going election in Liberia, against Sirleaf’s Vice President Joseph Boakai. After counting of votes, Tuesday, October 10, Weah had 30 percent of votes out of 50 percent required for outright win. He was short of 11 percent.
Boakai had 29.1 percent of total of 1.5 million votes counted, with over 95.6 percent of results from polling stations released. When initial results were released, Weah and Boakai had looked forward to outright victory in the first round. Total of 20 candidates competed for the presidential election to succeed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Liberia’s first democratic transfer of power in more than 70 years.
Three other candidates made fair impact with their share of votes. Charles Brumskine, an opposition leader, secured 9.8 percent. A former Coca-Cola executive Alexander Cummings got 7.1 percent; and former-warlord-turned-preacher Prince Johnson 7.0 percent. The direction these candidates would channel their support would determine the final outcome of the result of the run-off.
According to AFP report, Cummings’ Alternative National Congress, ANC, party and Johnson’s Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction, MDR, declined to say who they will back.
After worship on Sunday, Prince Johnson told AFP outside his church: “The political decision will be made by my part as to which way we’ll go. Not now. I will be convening a meeting on Wednesday perhaps to invite all opposition parties to accept whatever results will come for the sake of our country.”
Benjamin Sanyee, Chairman of Brumskine’s Liberty Party said in a statement to AFP, they would not back any candidate and were calling for re-run of the vote, even though the election was acclaimed free and fair by domestic and international observers.
His words: “Due to the considerable irregularities and fraud that we have discovered, and in order for there to be valid results, the election must be conducted again — this time with transparency,”
Liberian Football legend George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Osusman Weah, in 2005, ran for Liberian presidency and lost to out-going President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in second round of voting. George Weah was vice presidential candidate on Winston Tubman ticket in 2011 election. Winston Tubman lost the election to Johnson Sirleaf. In 2014, George Weah was elected into Liberian Senate as a Congress for Democratic Change candidate.