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Democratic gains in Liberia

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On Friday 17 November, Liberian President George Weah, conceded election defeat to opposition leader Joseph Boakai. Joseph Boakai is a former vice president who lost to President Weah in the 2017 election. This ended Weah’s presidency after a single term as he came to power in 2017.

Election observers say the race was tight. It is commendable that Weah’s concession paves the way for Liberia’s second democratic transfer of power in over seven decades.

The actions of President George Weah come as a beacon of hope in West and Central Africa. The spate of military coups in the past three years had eroded any hope that democracy will be strengthened in the region. Thus, events in Liberia are viewed as light at the end of a tunnel.

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It is hoped that leaders in the region will learn from President George Weah and gracefully handover power when they lose elections. The longevity and the propensity to overstay in power is a big cause for unrest in the region.

With the current economic difficulties coupled with the sometimes rampant corruption in some of these countries, it is easy to see how a leader trying to entrench himself in power can lead to disquiet.

The events in Liberia are therefore a breath of fresh air in a region plagued by coups and counter coups.

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Congratulations to the people of Liberia!

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