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Liberia’s New President Helped Away From Podium During Inauguration

Boakai Assisted from Podium

The inauguration of Joseph Boakai, Liberia’s newly inaugurated president was curtailed during the swearing-in ceremony on Monday after the 79 year-old halted his speech twice.

Boakai had been speaking for about 30 minutes when it became clear that he was having difficulty continuing.

The 79-year-old, who emerged victorious over George Weah in a runoff election in November, was sworn in at an outdoor ceremony amidst sweltering temperatures in Monrovia.

Eyewitness reports stated that Boakai paused during his speech and aides rushed to fan him. He continued a few minutes later but stopped again and aides had to assist him off the podium.

Though his spokesman, Mohammed Ali, said the president has been stabilized, he attributed the President’s momentous inability to speak to the hot Monrovia temperature, saying:

“It is the heat. The heat was high. They should have had some fan or something around there. At his age, the exhaustion happened. But it is okay now,”

Although the inauguration ceremony ended abruptly, Boakai had already taken the oath of office when he was helped away.

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