MONROVIA – Following the announcement by the National Elections Commission (NEC) for a runoff presidential election necessitated by the inability of any one of the almost two dozen candidates in the country’s recently held presidential election to have obtained the constitutionally required 50% plus one vote to win on the first ballot, the two candidates facing off in the runoff, incumbent President George Weah of the ruling CDC and opposition leader Joseph Boakai of UP have separately held talks with CPP leader Alex Cummings for his support.
The NEC announced today that Weah and Boakai, having emerged the two top candidates who obtained the highest votes in the October 10 presidential contest, both men will now vie for the presidency in a runoff election slated for 14 November 2023.
Weah and his CDC accumulated the highest number of votes amounting to 804,087, which account for 43.83%, followed by Boakai and the UP that obtained 796,961 votes, accounting for 43.44%, according to the NEC.
Howbeit, while the NEC was releasing these results, the two forerunners in the just-ended presidential election were busy attempting to woo CPP leader Cummings for his support.
Mr. Cummings failed to obtain a sizable number of votes in the 2023 presidential race, falling far below the mark he attained when first gave a shot at the presidency in 2017. But the CPP has since rejected the results released by the NEC as votes obtained by the party’s presidential candidate, claiming foul play during the vote-tallying process.
Nonetheless, Weah and Boakai are determined to get Cummings’ backing for the 14 November runoff election, as the NEC declared campaigns opened as of 24 October, to run thru 12 November, at 11:59 pm.
Cummings disclosed Tuesday that he was pleased to have separately hosted Weah and Boakai at his residence, at both men’s behest, indicating that the CPP will continue to engage both the ruling party (CDC) and the main opposition party (UP), as his party goes about determining what position it would take regarding the runoff, in spite of concerns raised with the NEC by the CPP.
He termed as fruitful, his Tuesday’s meetings with the two men contending for the presidency, promising to address the nation on Wednesday, to state in detail what will inform the CPP’s decision on the runoff election.
Meanwhile, the Office of former VP and UP standard bearer Bokai, has described the meeting between the UP man and Cummings as consultations on the way forward for Liberia’s political future.
Boakai and Cummings Tuesday’s meeting was held in an atmosphere of cordiality and friendship, according to a statement from the former VP’s Office.
The statement divulged that they agreed to continue to work together in the interest of the nation, indicating that the men’s discussion also centered on putting a mechanism in place for further deliberations ahead of the 14 November presidential runoff election.