Liberia waiting to hear 1st results of runoff election
Liberia waiting to hear 1st results of runoff election
Liberia: George Weah Elected President
29 December, 2017, 02:11
The senator of Montserrado County - once named Fifa World Player and victor of the much coveted Ballon d'or - defeated his 73-year-old opponent Vice President Joseph Boakai in a landslide victory in results announced in Liberia on Wednesday morning.
Mr Weah grew up in Clara Town slum in Monrovia and went on to star for AC Milan, Paris St Germain and Chelsea and become the only African to win FIFA World Player of the Year.
But Weah on Thursday (Friday NZ time) was announced as the next president of Liberia after defeating ruling vice-president Boakai.
The victor of the election will replace Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Africa's first democratically elected president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Mrs Sirleaf defeated Mr Weah in the presidential election run-off in 2005, after the end of a brutal civil war.
As Liberia's most famous son, Weah attracts huge crowds and has a faithful youth following in a country where a fifth of the electorate is aged between 18 and 22.
Weah alleges that electoral fraud cost him the presidency in 2005 and the vice-presidency in 2011.
Boakai waged a bitter legal battle over problems with queue control and voter identification in the October 10 first round.
In a Facebook post President Akufo-Addo wrote, "Warm congratulations to George Oppong Weah on his decisive victory in Liberia's peaceful presidential run-off, thus becoming the next President of the Republic of Liberia".
He and Boakai voted in polling stations near their homes in Paynesville, a suburb of Monrovia, the capital of this nation of 4.6 million people.
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.
His CDC party contested those results but has refrained so far this time, though after voting on Tuesday, Weah warned that "what happened in 2005 and 2011 can not be repeated".
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