FORMER FOOTBALL STAR WINS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN LIBERIA
In a rags-to-riches story, George Weah, who was brought up in a slum in the Liberian capital of Monrovia but went on to become an internationally recognised football star with the Italian team A.C. Milan, has won the run-off presidential election in Liberia.
Although the result of the election at present remains unofficial, Liberia’s National Elections Commission has announced that with over 98 percent of votes counted, George Weah gained 61.5 percent of the vote against that of his rival, Vice-President Joseph Boakai, who garnered 38.5 percent.
If and when the election result is confirmed, George Weah will take over as president of Liberia from Mrs Ellen Sirleaf who has been president since 2005.
President-elect Weah is 51 years old and his election victory comes at the third attempt to win Liberia’s presidency.
FROM SLUM TO SOCCER STAR
Brought up in the Gibraltar slum area of Monrovia, George Weah went on to play for the top Italian football team, A.C. Milan, winning the
Ballon d’Or and being named African Player of the Century by FIFA, football’s world governing body.
For decades Liberia witnessed a vicious civil war under the leadership of President Charles Taylor.
On winning the 2005 election President Ellen Sirleaf ushered in over 10 years of peace in the country with the active assistance of the United States and the international community.
Despite the euphoria of Mr Weah’s youthful supporters the question now is, can he maintain peace whilst building Liberia’s still weak economy.