Who is Liberia’s President-elect Joseph Boakai?

Liberia’s next president, Joseph Boakai, is 78 years old and the country’s third democratically elected leader.

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Former Vice President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf exacted revenge on incumbent President George Weah, whom he defeated in 2018.

Boakai has attempted to develop a more vibrant image after gaining the unpleasant nickname Sleepy Joe for his proclivity to fall asleep at public gatherings by presenting himself as an Everyman who overcome his lowly roots.

His opponents consider his senior age as a disadvantage, claiming that he is disconnected from the younger generation in a country where 60% of the population is under the age of 25.

However, his supporters stressed his youth and unflinching integrity, arguing that he alone would be able to restore trust in institutions and combat corruption.

Boakai has promised to invest in infrastructure and ameliorate the acute poverty that most Liberians continue to face.

The former vice president, a father of four, has the support of elderly people who cherish the stability his party has given after suffering through civil conflicts between 1989 and 2003.

Others are concerned that his legal battle following the 2018 election has diverted attention away from his message of reliability and continuity in a country plagued by electoral violence.

The US congratulated Liberian President-elect Joseph Boakai on his election and President Weah on his acceptance of the presidency.

The incumbent President, Weah, gracefully surrendered the close election on Friday before the final official total was published, signaling a peaceful transition of power in a region plagued by military coups in previous years.

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