Ex-soccer Star George Weah Wins Liberia's Presidential Poll

by Garry Watts December 31, 2017, 0:30
Ex-soccer Star George Weah Wins Liberia's Presidential Poll

Former AC Milan and Chelsea striker George Weah is set to be named president of Liberia after winning the run-off election on Tuesday.

Weah supporters paraded through the streets of the capital Monrovia and honked vehicle horns to celebrate the news.

The 51-year-old has 61.5 per cent of the vote with 98.1 per cent of ballots counted and should succeed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, according to BBC News.

He is the first and only African player to have won both FIFA's World Player of the Year trophy and the Ballon d'Or.

Weah's opponent, vice-president, Joseph Boakai is said to have secured just 38.5 per cent of the vote in what will be Liberia's first democratic transition since 1944.

The election commission said voter turnout was 56 percent - lower than the October 10 election in which Boakai and Weah were the top vote-getters, qualifying them for the runoff election.

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Liberia went to second round of voting after none of the 20 presidential candidates in the November election garnered the required 50 percent plus one of the total votes cast.

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

Howard-Taylor's political career began in earnest when she was elected in 2005 as a senator in Bong County, the nation's third most populous county, and has since built an image as a resilient hard worker in Liberia's male-dominated politics.

He ran as part of Congress for Democratic Change in 2014 and was elected to the senate.

Liberia, founded by freed United States slaves in the 19th Century, was praised by United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres, who hailed the "peaceful conduct" of the vote.

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