Liberian President George Weah has been hailed for his sportsmanship for conceding to his rival in the presidential race – from across the political divide and the region.
“This is a time for graciousness in defeat, a time to place our country above party, and patriotism above personal interest,” the former football star, who has served as Liberia’s president since 2018, said.
The 57-year-old’s phone call to congratulate Joseph Boakai on Friday night has saved the country, which has a history of brutal civil conflict, from a weekend of tension.
“These are great times in Liberia and in Africa because such action on the part of a sitting president is very, very, very rare,” Liberian human rights advocate Hassan Bility told the BBC.
He is the director of the Global Justice and Research Project (GJRP), which has been documenting evidence of war crimes committed during two civil wars, in which an estimated 250,000 died.
For him, Weah’s concession in the second round – three days before the official results are due to be announced – was not only the action of a great sportsman but “a high mark of statesmanship and peace”.
The former FIFA World Player of the Year has 49.11% of the vote so far from the results of 99.58% of polling stations.
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