Former football star George Weah wins Liberian presidential election

DW | Published: December 28, 2017

 

 

International footballer George Weah has won Liberia’s presidential election run-off. The landmark election marks the first democratic transfer of power in the West African state since the end of two civil wars.

International footballer George Weah has defeated Vice President Joseph Boakai to win Liberia’s presidential election run-off with 61.5 percent of the vote, based on 98.1 percent of ballots cast, the election commission said on Thursday.

Weah will succeed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Liberia’s president next month, in what will be the country’s first democratic transition since 1944. Sirleaf was Africa’s first elected female head of state and in 2011 was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Weah led the first round of voting on October 10, but failed to get the requisite 50 percent of votes to win.

Turnout for the second round vote stood at 56 percent, the election commission said.

The 51-year-old Weah starred for top European football teams Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Chelsea and is the only African ever to have won FIFA’s World Player of the Year.

As a political novice, he lost to Sirleaf in the second round of voting in the 2005 election. He also lost a bid for vice presidency in 2011. He was elected to Liberia’s senate in December 2014.

More to follow

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