George Weah elected Liberian president

29 December, 2017, 00:37 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Former footballer George Weah played for European giants Monaco PSG AC Milan Chelsea and Manchester City in the 1980s and 1990s

George Weah emerged from Liberia's slums to become a superstar footballer in the 1990s, and has leveraged his status as a revered figure among the country's young and poor in his second run for the presidency.

Liberians went to the polls on Tuesday to elect a new President in a run-off vote between Vice-President Joseph Boakai (Left) and former global footballer George Weah (Right).

Voters were choosing a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is stepping down after serving 12 years as Africa's first elected female head of state, in the West African country's first democratic transition since 1944.

As news of Mr Weah's victory emerged on Thursday, his supporters began celebrating in the capital Monrovia.

No candidate was able to secure the 50 percent plus one valid votes cast required by law to be elected president in the first round on October 10.


The vote was delayed for seven weeks due to legal challenges lodged by Boakai's Unity Party against the electoral commission over the conduct of the first round of voting. His failure to secure an outright majority forced a run-off.

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

This is the first time in more than 70 years the nation founded by freed American slaves will see one democratically elected government hand power to another. Election officials put turnout at 56%.

But Mr Weah's election is not without controversy, as his running mate is Jewel Taylor, former wife of the warlord and ex-President Charles Taylor, who is serving a jail sentence in the United Kingdom for war crimes.

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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