Claim 1: Liberia now has a President-elect and is a former vice president-elect.
Verdict: Misleading, the NEC has not announced a winner in the just-ended run-off elections
After none of the 20 presidential candidates certified by the National Elections Commission (NEC) to participate in the just-ended October 10 general elections could not secure an absolute majority, which is 50 per cent plus one of the total valid votes as stated by the 1986 constitution of Liberia, the country conducted a runoff election on Tuesday, November 14
The runoff election was held between the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), led by George M. Weah, and the Major Opposition Unity (UP), led by Joseph N. Boakai.
The two candidates were the top two in the just-ended October 10, 2023, elections; CDC obtained 43.83 per cent of the vote while Boakai had 43.44 per cent.
A day after the runoff, the NEC, the body that is clothed with the constitutional authority to announce official results, started releasing updates they received from different polling centers across the nation.
However, as the NEC provided the first update on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, from 22.33%, which is 1,315 of 5,890 Polling Places in the country, a Liberian journalist who is schooling in Poland, James Goodday Flomo, took to his Facebook page, stating, “Liberia now has a President-elect, vice president-elect, former President, and former Vice President Wow, this life is not balanced.”
The journalist’s post obtained 2 comments and 75 reactions at the time our reporter commenced the check.
Screenshot of the NEC’s day one website
Claim 2: Breaking news, CDC has won with 1.65% Congratulations Mr. President
Screenshot of Shine Liberia page
Also, a local blog, Shine Liberia, with 184 thousand followers two days after the election posted claiming that the ruling party, CDC, won 1.65% of the votes.
The blog post attracted 86 comments, 13 shares, and 164 shares at the time we commenced the check.
On Thursday, November 16, 2023, NEC announced that out of the total, they had received 86.71% (5,107 of 5,890 Polling Places)
These total votes include valid and invalid ones, amounting to 1,431,388 (57.91%); UP received 50.58, while CDC obtained 49.42.
Screenshot of the NEC’s website
Verification: On Wednesday, November 15, 2023, According to NEC, out of the 22.33% received, the Unity Party obtained 193,041, which constitutes 50.71%, while the ruling CDC got 187,615, which is 49.29%.
It can be recalled that during the announcement of the October 10, 2023, elections, UP was in an early lead when the NEC announced the results from six polling places in Bomi and Montserrado Counties.
The NEC then said that out of the 4,126 total votes from 13 of the 171 polling places in Bomi County, the UP candidate obtained 2543 votes, constituting 64.1 percent of the votes, while Weah of the ruling CDC got 1,134, amounting to 28.54%.
As more results were released, UP’s votes dropped, thereby making the ruling CDC the winner of said election, even though the party could not secure 50 per cent plus one of the total valid votes. Of the total votes counted, including valid and invalid votes, 386,076 constitute 15.62%.
Conclusion: Even though NEC’s provisional result put the opposition UP in the lead, they have not been declared winners by the commission that is clothed with the authority to announce the winner within 15 days after any elections. Therefore, the journalist’s post is misleading.