Liberia’s Electoral Commission says it will begin the announcement of provisional results of the 2017 presidential runoff on Thursday 28 December.
The announcement made by the National Elections Commission chairman Jerome Karyoka comes after premature calls on social media by some sections of the media and prominent personalities that ex-football star George Weah had won the election.
It will be necessary to await this Thursday to see the fall of the first results, still provisional, of the second round of the presidential election in Liberia which opposed Senator George Weah to the outgoing vice president Joseph Boakai.
The Electoral Commission made the announcement in the evening of Wednesday, in a post Facebook, without giving a precise time.
The results of this presidential election are highly anticipated in Liberia, which hopes to experience its first democratic alternation and finally turn the page of nearly three decades of civil war that has left at least 250,000 dead.
On the evening of Tuesday, the counting of votes began, after a smooth vote. In particular, the observers welcomed a calm vote that showed no signs of tension. On Wednesday, the UN Secretary General shared the same analysis, hailing “the peaceful holding” of the ballot.
According to Liberia’s constitution, the new president is expected to take office on 22 January. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the current president who has led the country since 2005, will pass the torch either to Joseph Boakai or to George Weah, two candidates who seem to oppose everything.
A 73-year-old outgoing vice-president, Joseph Boakai is likely to be exhausting his last card to gain supreme office. Anticipated to be the natural heir to President Sirleaf, he ended up distancing himself from the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize … which in turn did not support him. A way for him to stand out from the old regime accused of corruption, inequality and the economic crisis that the country is going through.
For many Liberians, however, it is the continuity of this power. An image with which he wants to decide. During his campaign, Joseph Boakai promised to end corruption and minimize foreign dependence.
On the other side, there is George Weah, 51, former glory of world football and hope of all idle youth. Coming from popular areas of Monrovia, the senator is dreaming of his meteoric rise propelled by his career in football, crowned with a ball of gold which he is the only African to have received.
Fifteen years after hanging up the crampons, the former star striker of PSG and Milan AC claims another expertise, that of the policy he addressed at the end of the conflict in Liberia in 2003-2004. To all those who accuse him of knowing nothing about politics, he claims to have “gained experience” in the political arena and learned from his failures.
A few hours before the announcement of the first results, some Internet users seem to have made their choice. On social media this Wednesday, several netizens, including the Namibian head of state, congratulated George Weah on his “victory”. Simply a false information, as was the case in the first round.
The run-off vote was delayed for over a month after Boakai and third-placed Charles Brumskine of the Liberty Party alleged widespread fraud in October’s first-round vote, a challenge that the Supreme Court rejected this month.
The winner of the election will replace Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Africa’s first democratically elected president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.