MONROVIA - Political veteran Joseph Boakai was on Tuesday declared the winner of Liberia’s presidential election, beating incumbent George Weah, electoral authorities said after completing the ballot count. Boakai won with 50.64 percent of the vote, against 49.36 percent of the vote for former international football star Weah, the president of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Davidetta Browne Lansanah, told reporters. Boakai won with only a 20,567-vote margin. Weah had already conceded defeat on Friday evening, based on the results of more than 99.98 percent of the polling stations. The outgoing president and former football star won praise from abroad on Monday for conceding and promoting a non-violent transition in a region marred by coups. “Liberians have once again demonstrated that democracy is alive in the ECOWAS region and that change is possible through peaceful means,” the Economic Community of West African States said in a statement. Since 2020, ECOWAS states have seen abrupt regime changes with military forces seizing power by force in four of the fifteen member countries: Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Niger.