George Weah
George Weah

MONROVIA: Liberians on Friday feted former football star George Weah’s presidential victory in the country’s first democratic transfer of power in seven decades scarred by civil wars, political assassinations and an Ebola crisis.

Weah, idolised in Liberia as “Mister George”, is set to replace Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who took over in 2006 at the helm of the west African state founded by freed US slaves. He will be sworn in on January 22.

The 51-year-old starred at top-flight European clubs Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan in the 1990s, before briefly playing for Chelsea and Manchester City toward the end of his career.

Weah, who entered politics after retiring from football in 2002, easily beat Vice President Joseph Boakai in Thursday’s run-off vote, gaining 61.5 per cent of the ballot against 38.5 per cent for his rival. Weah won in 14 of Liberia’s 15 counties.

Published in Dawn, December 30th, 2017