The inauguration of Joseph Boakai as the new Liberian president on Monday was cut short as he suddenly suffered a “heat stroke” while reading his acceptance speech.

Boakai had paused during his speech after taking the oath of office before aides rushed to fan him.

The 79-year-old resumed a few minutes later but halted again and aides helped him walk away from the podium, curtailing the ceremony.

Mohammed Ali, the spokesman for Boakai’s ruling Unity Party, said after the incident: “It is the heat. The heat was high. They should have had some fans or something around there. At his age, exhaustion happened. But it is okay now.”

Boakai defeated George Weah in a run-off election in November and was sworn in during an outdoor ceremony in sweltering heat in the West African nation’s capital, Monrovia.

Liberian President Boakai suffers ‘heat stroke’ during inauguration

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