Sport

Ex-football star George Weah wins Liberia's presidential election

Ex-football star George Weah wins Liberia's presidential election”

Former footballer George Weah is set to become Liberia's president at the second attempt.

There was wild jubilation in Liberia by supporters of George Weah as provisional results from Tuesday's presidential runoff polls in the country have placed former global football superstar far ahead with 61.5 per cent of votes so far processed.

Weah, 51, won the polls with 61.5% of votes and will be sworn in on January 16 2018 when president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's term expires.

Weah, 51, grew up in poverty in Liberia.

Born in Liberia, it was Arsene Wenger who brought him over to Europe, when he was manager of Monaco in 1988.

He is the only ever African player to win both the Ballon d'Or and the Fifa World Player of the Year award.

Weah lost in the 2005 election against the incumbent Johnson Sirleaf, but has steadily shaken off his reputation as a novice in the political arena. She is the ex-wife of former rebel leader and president Charles Taylor, who sparked Liberia's civil war in 1989 and is serving a 50-year prison sentence in Britain for his role in atrocities in Sierra Leone.

He was standing against current Vice President Joseph Boakai.

He has been senator for Montserrado County in Liberia after being elected in 2014.

Boakai conceded defeat on Friday and said he had called Weah to congratulate him.

In results announced on Thursday by the chairperson of the country's electoral Commission, Jerome Kokoya, Mr. Weah scored 720,023 votes which is 61.5 percent of the total votes so far collated and counted.

The United States-based Carter Centre, assessing the voting situation said there were "notable improvements" in the handling of Tuesday's vote from the first round in October, echoing positive assessments from other global observers.

Some Liberians said they weren't able to find their names at voting stations and couldn't cast a ballot.

"I reject any temptation of imposing pain, hardship, agony and uncertainty", he said. The victor will replace Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is stepping down after two terms.

Liberia is Africa's oldest modern republic and was founded by freed US slaves in 1847.

Nobel Peace Prize victor Sirleaf, 79, is stepping down after two terms in office that brought the impoverished country out of back-to-back civil wars and saw it grapple with a deadly Ebola outbreak.

The run-off 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, but numerous complaints appeared to have been addressed in the second round.



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