Ocnus.Net
News Before Its News
About Us | Ocnus? |

Front Page 
 
 Africa
 
 Analyses
 
 Business
 
 Dark Side
 
 Defence & Arms
 
 Dysfunctions
 
 Editorial
 
 International
 
 Labour
 
 Light Side
 
 Research
Search

Africa Last Updated: Feb 7, 2024 - 1:42:03 PM


Liberia: Weah’s concession to Boakai is a model of African statesmanship
By Charles Dietz, African Business, 22/11/23
Nov 24, 2023 - 11:56:55 AM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

George Weah’s legacy in office has been mixed, but the manner of the former footballer’s exit from office is a model that other West African governments would do well to follow.

George Weah’s remarkable second act as president of his country has drawn to a close after he conceded defeat to Joseph Boakai in Liberia’s tight presidential runoff election on 14 November. In truth, the former Ballon d’Or-winning footballer, best known for his glittering stints at Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan in the 1990s, has had a rather more mixed record in office.

Elected to replace the inspiring Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2018, Weah’s term encompassed the global upheaval of Covid-19, an economic jolt that worsened living standards in the previously war-wracked country. While the external environment proved impossible to control, other reverses can be attributed to Weah’s decisions.

The president, perhaps used to enjoying international plaudits from his days on the pitch, made no apologies for his extensive foreign travel, spending almost 50 days away last year at conferences, summits, and, notoriously, the World Cup – to watch his son play for the United States. Meanwhile, the fight against corruption in Liberia stuttered, and little progress was made on pursuing justice for the victims of the country’s devastating civil war.

But however mixed Weah’s legacy in office, the manner of his exit has been exemplary.

According to data from the National Elections Commission, Boakai secured 50.89% of the vote to Weah’s 49.11%, with 99.58% of the results counted – a result tight enough to send many young democracies into an extended political crisis.

Instead, Weah sent his “heartfelt congratulations” to president-elect Boakai, his supporters, and his campaign team – and pledged to work with his successor in the interests of the nation. To his supporters, he recognised that the result was “not the outcome we desired,” but urged them to “follow my example and accept the results of the elections.”

Weah cautioned against the politics of division, which have proven so disastrous to Liberia’s recent history, and ended with a rousing tribute to “Mama Liberia”.

“As we transition to the new Boakai administration, we must be vigilant to the dangers of division and work together to find common ground. Now, more than ever, unity is paramount for the love of Mama Liberia. Tonight, the Coalition for Democratic Change has lost the election, but Liberia has won. This is a time for graciousness in defeat, a time to place our country above party, and patriotism above personal interest… Let us heal the divisions caused by the campaign and come together as One Nation and One United People.”

In a West Africa which has seen a dispiriting return to military coups in recent years, Weah’s full-throated defence of democracy and inclusive politics has all the force of a revolutionary act.

For all his goal-scoring prowess – as well as the unfortunate own-goals while in office – his gracious concession speech may prove one of the greatest gifts bestowed in his storied career.


Source:Ocnus.net 2023

Top of Page

Africa
Latest Headlines
DRC’s ‘contract of the century’: China to pay 7bn for infrastructure
Nigeriens celebrate exit from ECOWAS but how does it solve their problems?
Isabel dos Santos charged with 12 crimes in Angola over her dealings as Sonangol chair
Russia to launch ‘African Legion’ to replace Wagner group in Africa
Term Limit Evasions and Coups in Africa:Two Sides of the Same Coin
Ivanhoe Mines’ Exports Commence From Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex Along Lobito Atlantic Rail Corridor
South Africa to lead new military force in the DRC: an expert on what it’s up against
Putin’s Private Army Accused of Massacring Dozens to Seize Gold Mine
Coups, Catastrophes, and Great-Power Competition
Tshisekedi favoured to retain Presidency in $1.2 billion elections 20th December 2023