–Blames officials for his defeat
President George Manneh Weah has vowed to play a major opposition role and put his successor Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai’s feet to the fire in the interest of the Liberian people.
The ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) leader has conceded defeat to the opposition Unity Party (UP) candidate following the 14 November 2023 presidential run-off.
Mr. Weah’s one presidential term of six years concludes this January, and his successor Amb. Boakai, a former Liberian Vice President for 12 consecutive years, will step in.
He conceded defeat after the National Elections Commission (NEC) announced over 99 percent of the preliminary results of the run-off election over the weekend.
The commission is expected to declare the winner of the election today, Monday, 20 November 2023.
Weah shocked many when he conceded defeat ahead of the full announcement of the result. He blamed some of his officials for causing his defeat but avoided naming them.
The NEC on Friday announced 99.98 % of the preliminary results in which Boakai obtained 814,428 votes, constituting 50.64%, while Weah obtained 793,910 or 49.36 percent.
Addressing supporters at his Forkly Klon Jlaleh Family Fellowship Church Sunday, 19 November, Mr. Weah reckoned his lost and accepted his fate as incoming opposition.
In his future role as an opposition, Weah vowed to be robust in checkmating the incoming government by keeping its feet to the fire.
“We’re going to continue to fight as an opposition, we are not going sit and relax. We are going to keep Boakai’s feet to the fire in the interest of our people,” said Mr. Weah.
“They were here as an opposition, protested freely and we provided food and water, likewise they must provide food and water as we’ll be here to checkmate them in the interest of our people,” Mr. Weah said.
Mr. Weah admonished his supporters to wave away the result of the election and remain calm, stay together in unity while galvanizing with new strategies to come back stronger in 2029.
The outgoing president sees his defeat as a test of unity within his party, emphasizing that it is a learning curve for every CDCian to put up their seatbelt and strategize.
“Do not be deterred by what has happened, we have let ourselves down,” said Mr. Weah. According to him, there were some bad apples in government undermining the success of his administration.
“Let this be a learning curve, teaching all of us a lesson. What’s the fact is the fact; what is blue is blue. We were not sincere to ourselves. What has happened has happened. I’m not going to blame anyone, but blame ourselves,” President Weah continued.
He attributed the lost not to an individual, but to every CDCian and officials who didn’t work effectively in the interest of everyone to achieve the victory.
He argued that the idea requiring victory come with effort, work than just faith of hope.
Weah revealed that there were revelations from some pastors that CDC could win the election, but that it could only happen through efforts.
“Some pastors told us in the first round we were going to win, some told us in the second round we were going to win. That is the revelation, but did we work towards this revelation?” he asked.
“Your faith doesn’t constitute a victory. Faith with work constitutes everything. So let us take this as learning curve, moving forward so we can be stronger together,” he admonished his supporters.
He said they should not be defeated because they can galvanize the strength of 2005, 2011 and shall never fail.
He accused unnamed individuals in his government of undermining his administration and hindering the opportunities of those who were the best for his leadership and better for Liberia.
“… The money was given…, every resource was given to ensure that we are victorious, but some of those Ministers have left us down,” Weah lamented.
“And because some of those ministers, I will not be president now, but will come back stronger in 2029,” he noted.