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Who Is President-Elect Joseph Boakai, Political Veteran Set To Lead Liberia?

At 78, Joseph Boakai is Liberia’s new president and the country’s third democratically elected head of state.

The former vice-president under Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took his revenge on incumbent president George Weah, who defeated him in 2018.

Presenting himself as an Everyman who transcended his humble beginnings, Boakai has attempted to craft a more energetic image after earning the unfortunate title of Sleepy Joe for his propensity to fall asleep at public events.

His opponents see his advanced age as a handicap and claim that he is out of touch with the younger generation in a country where 60% of the population is under 25.

But his supporters emphasized his age and unwavering probity, claiming that he alone would be able to restore confidence in institutions and fight corruption.

Boakai has pledged to invest in infrastructure and alleviate the extreme poverty still suffered by most Liberians.

A father of four, the former VP benefits from the backing of older voters who value the stability his party has brought after living through civil wars between 1989 and 2003.

Others are concerned that his court battle after the 2018 election has distracted from his message of dependability and continuity in a country with a history of electoral violence.

The United States congratulated Liberian President-elect Joseph Boakai on his victory and President Weah on his acceptance.

Incumbent President, Weah, gracefully conceded the tight election on Friday before the final official tally was announced to mark a peaceful transfer of power in a region that has recently seen a plethora of military coups in recent years.

Africanews

Additional sources • TV5 Monde

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