Former President Goodluck Jonathan has lauded the show of statesmanship by Liberian president, George Weah, in the just concluded presidential election for accepting defeat to opposition leader, Joseph Boakai.
Liberia’s electoral commission reported that Boakai polled 50.89 per cent after tallying the ballots from more than 99 per cent of polling stations, while Weah had 49.11 per cent.
In his tweets on Saturday, titled ‘Liberia wins, Democracy gains,’ Jonathan said he was pleased with the outcome of the democratic process in Liberia.
The former Nigerian leader commended Weah for accepting defeat and congratulating his opponent ahead of the official declaration.
The tweet partly read, “I am also particularly grateful to the outgoing President, His Excellency George Weah, who has just conceded defeat and congratulated his opponent even ahead of the official declaration of the final result by the National Election Commission of Liberia.
“By doing this, President Weah has exhibited an exemplary display of statesmanship and commitment to the peace and progress of his country.”
He also urged Boakai to be “magnanimous in victory and seek to continue the efforts to unite and advance his country.”
Jonathan led the West African Elders Forum (@TheWAEF) Mediation Mission to both the October 10, 2023, general elections and the November 14, 2023, Presidential run-off poll in Liberia,
He noted that the win and the peaceful election process was a plus for democracy and the West African regional bloc – the Economic Community of West African States.
“I am delighted that at the end of the exercise, Liberia wins, democracy gains and our sub-region, ECOWAS, is better for it,” he stated.
Boakai served for 12 years as vice-president under erstwhile president, Ellen Sirleaf; the first elected female African head of state.
The 78-year-old will officially start his presidential duties when he is sworn in in January 2024.
Weah, a former professional footballer, became Liberia’s president in 2018.
He is the first African former professional footballer to become a head of state.