George Weah set to win Liberia presidential runoff

Hannah Rogers
December 29, 2017

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.

Voters were choosing a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is stepping down after serving 12 years as Africa's first elected female head of state, in the West African country's first democratic transition since 1944.

The U.S. -based Carter Center said there were "notable improvements" in the handling of Tuesday's vote from the first round in October, echoing positive assessments from other worldwide observers. "Because the likes of former President Olusegun Obasanjo are not God, George Weah has been able to achieve his destiny through the grace and power of God and I wish him a successful tenure".

Tallying of votes started today, Tuesday across the country and it is continuing.

Almost 2.2 million voters were choosing between the 51-year-old Weah and 73-year-old Vice President Joseph Boakai.

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Victoria Blamoh (56) told AFP she voted for Boakai's "experience of leadership", explaining: "He has been in government for 12 years, so he knows the ins and outs of it".

The first-round winner's connections with the office of the presidency run even deeper, as Jewel Howard-Taylor - ex-wife of the revered former Liberian President Charles Taylor - is his vice-presidential pick.

The National Election Commission says voter lists have been cleaned up according to Supreme Court orders. The EU's chief observer, Maria Arena, said staff were "better trained" for the run-off.

His CDC party contested the results in 2005 and 2011, but has refrained so far this time.

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