Ex-footballer George Weah to become Liberias president

Election commission says Weah defeated vice-president Joseph Boakai to acquire election runoff with 61.5% of the vote

The onetime football whiz George Weah has triumphed Liberia’s presidential election, overcoming the vice-president, Joseph Boakai, in a runoff with 61.5% of the vote.

Thursday’s announcement by the country’s election commission chair, Jerome Korkoyah, means Weah will be successful Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Liberia’s president next month, after an election fraught with the allegations of cases of fraud and inconsistencies. It will be the country’s first democratic change since 1944 and follows two devastating civil wars.

The commission said Weah had made 61.5% of the voting rights, based on 98.1% of ballots cast.

Spontaneous revels explosion in the capital city, Monrovia, a Weah stronghold. Supporters danced, applauded and sang” Ole, ole, ole” outside the electoral commission’s offices as the results were read out.

Weah, a national sporting superstar, topped the first round of voting in October with 38.4% but is impossible to prevail the 50% necessary to avoid a runoff. Boakai came second with 28.8%.

The runoff was retarded twice after several parties took their allegations regarding malpractice to the supreme court of the united states, but it finally took place with a low-toned turnout on 26 December.

Weah, 51, is the only African to be Fifa’s world player of its first year or to have won the Ballon d’Or for Europe’s best musician. At the time, Nelson Mandela called him the” pride of Africa “.

Weah represented for Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan in the 1990 s before moving to England belatedly in his occupation for sorceries at Chelsea and Manchester City.

His was already an inspirational legend to an entire generation of Africans: he grew up in Clara Town, a poverty-stricken neighbourhood of Monrovia, and played football across the river in West Point, Liberia’s biggest informal agree, where he still has a large fanbase. Many realize his becoming director as a fitting next chapter in the rags-to-riches fairytale and one that grants them hope.

” I know in him we can get a better Liberia ,” said Domah Johnson, a supporter of his party, the Congress for Democratic Change.” With George, he will entitle the kid, the status of women, and will develop the country .”

Sackie Benson, a shopkeeper in primary Monrovia, concurred.” George Weah will do well when he takes dominance ,” he said.” Occasion will change: superhighways will be constructed and our institutions will be better .”

Weah’s road to the presidency has been long. He lost to Sirleaf, the first girl elected head of state in Africa, in 2005, and then, as running-mate to William Tubman, he lost again in 2011.

But even if it has taken him 12 times, prevailing the presidency is simply the beginning of perhaps the toughest competition of Weah’s career.

An forecasted 250,000 parties died during two back-to-back civil wars between 1989 -2 003 and, more recently, Liberia suffered a ravaging Ebola outbreak. The country is highly good: more than 80% of beings live on less than $1.25( 93 p) a daylight, and hundreds of thousands of children are out of school.

Not everyone is convinced Weah is the man for the number of jobs. Kawolo Suah, a Monrovia resident, said Weah would only look after his supporters and that they are able to adjusted him against the Liberian people.

” I foresee economic hardship, more the country is not going to see battle ,” he said.” It will be a disappointment and his supporters’ apprehensions will not be met .”

Weah’s running-mate is Jewel Howard-Taylor, the ex-wife of the onetime president and warlord Charles Taylor, who is serving a 50 -year sentencefor war crimes in a prison in Durham, in the UK.

Howard-Taylor is a respected and powerful senator, but her links to her former spouse, including her promise this year to bring back the agenda of his party, has caused much criticism.

Boakai is Sirleaf’s deputy, but some of the blame for his disappointment has been attributed to his boss’s refusal to support his candidacy or expedition on his behalf. Sirleaf has bided hushed on who she wanted to succeed her.

Speaking to a Liberian radio terminal, Boakai positioned their soured liaison down to his” remorse by association” with Varney Sherman, a top lawyer and politician who was arrested last year over an alleged bribery gossip.

The” grandmother chairperson” has been credited with saving the country together and harmoniou after its fierce civil fightings, but her presidency has also been tainted by allegations regarding nepotism and corruption.

Sirleaf’s office said it had set up a squad” for the suitable managing and orderly transportation of executive authority from one democratically elected president to another”, adding that it included several ministers.

The UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, applauded the” nonviolent handling” of the vote, admiring” the governmental forces, political parties and the people of Liberia for the order survey “.

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