By Bill W. Cooper
President George M. Weah, after a closely contested election, has conceded defeat and issued an important message to his party members, urging them to regroup and adapt their strategies for the next election in 2029.
The President’s decision to accept defeat further showcased his commitment to the democratic principles of free, fair, and transparent elections he promised the international community prior to the polls.
President Weah, gracefully acknowledging the will of the electorates, also sets a positive precedent for the country’s political landscape, emphasizing the importance of peaceful transitions of power and respect for the democratic process.
In his concession speech issued late Friday night, November 17, 2023, the President said, “I urge you to follow my example and accept the results of the election. Go home tonight with the knowledge that our ideas and vision for Liberia remain strong. We are a young movement and our time will come again.”
He expanded that although the outcome of the election was not what he and his supporters desire, the democratic will of the people of Liberia must be respected, expressing gratitude to his supporters, including all who led his campaign.
According to President Weah, the election results show that there’s a deep division in the country, and the need to be nationalistic above party politics cannot be overemphasized.
He also revealed that he had called President-elect, Joseph Nyumah Boakai, and congratulated him, knowing that the remaining polling places, even if tallied, would not change the results of the election in his favor.
Weah continued that CDC has lost the election, but Liberia has won, and it is time to place country above personal interest, disclosing, “I remain your President until the handover of power, and I will continue to work for the good of Liberia.”
He admonished that the time to heal the division caused by the campaign is now, and as a people, Liberians should come together and strive to give the country a brighter future, and expressed joy that the elections were held under his leadership and that he ensured that his promise for a free, fair, and transparent elections was upheld, and that he did not interfere with the outcome of the results.
Meanwhile, some political analysts said the President’s decision carries significant implications for Liberia’s political landscape, indicating that his concession also sends a powerful message to the opposition and the Liberian people as a whole.
According to them, the President’s willingness to put the nation’s interests above his own political ambitions is an act of humility and unity, which contributes to the overall stability and development of Liberia’s democracy, fostering an environment that promotes national cohesion and progress.