Liberia’s president, George Weah, conceded defeat on Friday night in his bid for a second term, after a tight runoff against Joseph Boakai, a 78-year-old political veteran, in an election that was considered a test of democracy in the West African nation.
Mr. Boakai, who had served as vice president for 12 years under the former president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, defeated Mr. Weah, a 57-year-old former soccer star, by a razor-thin margin.
The country’s national election commission stopped short of declaring a winner on Friday afternoon, but announced that with more than 99 percent of the ballots counted, Mr. Boakai held 50.89 percent of the votes, and Mr. Weah 49.11 percent. It was the nation’s tightest election in two decades, and a rematch of the election in 2017, when Mr. Weah handily beat Mr. Boakai.
Mr. Weah said in a radio address broadcast late on Friday evening that while his party had lost the election, “Liberia has won.”