MONROVIA – Amid political pundits’ prediction that the presidential race in Liberia’s recently concluded elections would have gone to a second round, the National Elections Commission (NEC) has announced that the two top candidates for the presidency, CDC’s George Weah and main opposition UP’s Joseph Boakai, did not obtain the constitutionally required 50 percent plus one vote to win on the first ballot.
This is the second time both men will be contesting the Liberian presidency in a runoff election, having met first in 2017, when Weah won over 60 percent of the votes, sweeping the polls in 14 of the country’s 15 political sub-divisions.
Announcing the final results of the 2023 general elections at a press confab today, NEC Chairperson Davidetta Browne-Lansanah declared a presidential runoff election slated for 14 November 2023.
Browne-Lansanah quoted Article 83 of the Liberian Constitution as her reliance to have declared a presidential runoff following the 10 October polls.
According to Chairperson Browne-Lansanah, “Article 83b of the Constitution of Liberia requires that for any presidential ticket to win outright on the first ballot that ticket must acquire at least 50 percent plus one of the valid votes cast” in a national election.
She continued: “Article 83b further says that where no presidential ticket obtains at least 50 percent plus one, the two presidential tickets that received the highest number of valid votes shall participate in a runoff election to be held on the second Tuesday following the expiration of the time provided for in Article 83c.”
“With the results of the 10 October polls showing that no presidential ticket obtained 50 percent plus one vote, a runoff election is hereby declared to be held on Tuesday, 14 November 2023, between the two tickets that obtained the highest number of votes,” Browne-Lansanah stated, indicating that the presidential ticket of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), having incumbent President Weah as its presidential candidate and the main opposition Unity Party (UP) led by former VP Joseph Nyuma Boakai, are the two political parties qualified for the 14 November runoff election.
The NEC boss disclosed that final results of the 10 October presidential election show that the presidential ticket of the ruling CDC obtained the highest number of votes, 804,087, amounting to 43.83%, followed by the presidential ticket of Unity Party, which she said garnered 796,961 votes, representing 43.44%.
Meanwhile, Davidetta-Browne has declared that as of today, 24 October, the 14 November runoff election’s political campaigns are opened, to be climaxed at 11:59 pm, on 12 November 2023.