Weah elected as new Liberian leader

Weah elected as new Liberian leader

Former FIFA World Player of the Year George Weah has been elected Liberia's new president by a wide margin as the West African nation faces its first democratic transfer of power in more than 70 years.

With more than 98 percent of votes counted late Thursday, Weah had received 61.5 percent of ballots while Boakai received 38.5 percent.

A victory speech, however, was postponed after crowds of energetic supporters gathered around a podium for Weah's address grew too boisterous, an AFP correspondent said.

Supporters at Weah's party headquarters immediately broke into celebrations that brought traffic outside to a complete standstill.

The former football celebrity turned politician, senator and now president has a huge task ahead of him with most of the country's young people harboring high hopes for his government ahead of his swearing-in on January 16.

Ms Johnson Sirleaf's 12-year rule cemented peace after Liberia's 1989-2003 civil war and won her the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, but she has been criticised over high-level corruption scandals and persistent poverty in the country.

Mr Weah will succeed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as president next month.

The National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia announced the former World, European and African Footballer of the Year as the victor, with 61,5 percent of the vote.

Arctic air arrives Saturday night
New Year's Day will be cold in the low 20s but because it will be breezy it will feel like the single digits most of the day. Forecasters said the temperature in the city was likely to dip under -12C, well below the typical average low for the day.

"Liberians have a certain sense of hope that George Weah will change the status quo, that he will bring transformation to the country", Ms Neaiai Pailey said.

"I think the Liberian people will expect..." She led the country from back-to-back civil wars and saw it through a deadly Ebola outbreak that killed almost 5,000 Liberians.

The post Liberians, Paris Saint-Germain, others hail Weah's presidential victory appeared first on Vanguard News.

Atiku in his tweets urged Mr. Weah to lead the people of Liberia to prosperity.

The commission said 56 percent of the country's 2.2 million registered voters cast ballots in the runoff, which was contested twice in court amid claims of irregularities, with its original Nov 7 date delayed.

The president-elect is popular among the country's youth, who are confident that he will represent their interests better than his predecessor. "He is King George!"

Mr Weah also ran in the country's last two elections, winning the first round of the 2005 vote that eventually went to Ms Johnson Sirleaf. Macron invited him to visit, saying Weah had "a special place in the French's hearts".

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