The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has praised Liberians for over the peaceful conduct of a presidential runoff that saw the election of former footballer George Weah as the new president.
“The members of the Security Council congratulated the Liberian people and government, as well as political leaders, civil society organizations, and the media for the peaceful conduct of the December 26 presidential runoff election,” the U.N. Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) said in a statement.
The UNSC also congratulated the two candidates – George Weah and outgoing veep Joseph Boakai – for the responsible conduct of their campaigns. They also reserved praise for outgoing president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other parties for their respective roles in the main and runoff polls.
“The members of the Security Council further expressed appreciation to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union, and all international, regional, and domestic election observation missions for their contributions to the transparency of the electoral process and timely assessments,” the statement added.
UNMIL’s operations in the West African country will end on 30 March 2018 as set out in a U.N. resolution. It effectively means all security issues will be fully transferred to the Liberian forces.
The members of the Security Council noted the significance of the first peaceful transfer of power between democratically elected leaders in Liberia in over 70 years. Sirleaf will bow out on 22 January as Weah takes over the reigns.
The National Elections Commission declared the former World Footballer of the Year winner of the runoff after the main polls failed to produce a direct winner. Weah polled over 63% of votes in the runoff to emerge winner. It was his second attempt at the presidency as a candidate. He lost the first try to Sirleaf in 2006.