Published: Fri, December 29, 2017
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Former world footballer of the year George Weah wins Liberia's presidential election

Former world footballer of the year George Weah wins Liberia's presidential election

Former professional footballer George Weah has been elected President of Liberia.

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Weah (51) starred in top-flight European football teams Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan in the 1990s before playing briefly for Chelsea and Manchester City later in his career.

After a peaceful presidential run-off on the 26th of December, 2017 the former football star garnered 61.5% of the vote while his opponent, Joseph Boakai was far behind with 38.5%.

The victor of the election will replace Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Africa's first democratically elected president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

The nation has been dogged by civil war and heavy-handed rule throughout its history.

But Weah was similarly resolute that his second run for the presidency would be successful.

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Former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, who served as an electoral observer for the US-based National Democratic Institute (NDI), said a successful resolution to the process was of particular importance within the worldwide community.

State radio correspondents reported unofficial results overnight indicating that former global soccer player George Weah led in several counties, but election authorities warned the two parties to "stop making premature pronouncements".

He entered politics after his retirement from the game in 2002 and is now a senator in Liberia's parliament.

The vote is the first time in more than 70 years that the West African nation founded by freed American slaves is seeing one democratically elected government hand power to another.

Legal challenges delayed the vote to replace Ms Sirleaf, and turnout was low.

Taylor is serving his 50-year prison sentence in the United Kingdom for war crimes related to the conflict in neighbouring Sierra Leone.

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