Former footballer George Weah set to win Liberia presidency

29 December, 2017, 02:10 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • President of the Republic of Liberia Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

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

Former worldwide footballer George Weah and Vice-President Joseph Boakai joined voters in casting their ballots in Liberia yesterday.

Votes have been finally been cast and Weah will be hoping to ride his popularity as "Mister George" to become Liberia's head of state.

Mr Weah, 51, won the first round of the presidential election in October with 38.4% of the vote, compared with the 28.8% won by second-placed Mr Boakai, 73.

Weah played for some of Europe's biggest clubs, including Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan, Chelsea and Marseille, and won several domestic titles, as well as numerous individual honours during a glittering career that lasted 18 years following his debut for Liberian club, Mighty Barrolle, in 1985.

The former football star's campaign - under the Coalition for Democratic Change banner - appealed to the youth vote, while incumbent Vice President Mr Boakai was seen as old and out of touch.

Early reports indicate that Weah has indeed won the run-off.

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NEC announces, with 98.1% of ballots counted in the runoff election, that CDC has won 61.5% of the total votes, with UP getting 38.5%.

Sirleaf's tenure as Liberia's president ended decades of conflict and civil war in the African nation.

Living standards in Liberia remain among the worst in the world.

Either of Mr. Boakai and ex-footballer George Weah will be declared president-elect after the announcement of the results.

As counting gets underway, the candidates have been urged to keep supporters calm to avoid the electoral violence that has hit Liberia in previous years.

This is the second time he has run for the presidency in Liberia, the first being in 2005.

On Tuesday polling stations displayed voter lists as a mark of transparency for the run-off.

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