Opposition leader Joseph Boakai has won the majority votes to become the West African nation’s next president.
With more than 99 percent of 1.6 million votes tallied the 78-year-oldobtained 814,212 or 50.89% compared to incumbent President George Weah 785 778 or 49.11%.
The National Elections Commission said 25 polling stations are outstanding. It’s mathematical impossible for the remaining votes to offset the current outcome.
The contest is the country’s tightest in decades and enhances the country’s growing democratic credential.
The father of four was Minister of Agriculture between 1983 and 1985 and was managing director of state-owned Liberia Produce Marketing Corp. and once head of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Co.
Boakai will also need to tackle graft — Liberia ranks 142nd out of 180 nations on advocacy group Transparency International’s annual corruption perceptions index. Last year, Weah accepted the resignations of three close allies when the US Treasury imposed sanctions on them after they were implicated in cases involving dubious contracts and the diversion of public funds.
The country of 5.4 million people is struggling to recover from two civil wars that ended two decades ago and its worst ever outbreak of Ebola that peaked in 2014. Per-capita income stood at $754.5 last year, more than two times lower than the sub-Saharan Africa average, according to the World Bank.