Liberia is celebrating because of George Weah, an ex-soccer star and the senator, won a presidential run. The 51-year-old entered politics after retirement from soccer more than a decade ago, the country got the new president on the New Year eve, Time reports.
George Weah led the first-round vote in October but didn’t receive enough ballots to win outright over the 73-year-old Boakai, who has been vice president for 12 years. President elected Weah is expected to take office in January. It is worth to note that Africa’s first female president, Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf didn’t show support to the candidates.
Though voter turnout for Tuesday’s runoff was low, he drew support from the younger generation, which makes up a majority of Liberia’s population of 4.6 million people. The young Liberian generation adores former FIFA World Player of the Year, now they are expecting new life and waiting for the new perspectives.
French President Emmanuel Macron invited Mr Weah to visit, saying he has “a special place in the French’s hearts” who were fans of Paris Saint-Germain, where George became famous.
‘King George’ is going to take office in January
The 2017 presidential election was Liberia’s first independently run election since the end of its civil wars, that’s why the UN has helped to oversee past votes.
The ex-soccer star George Weah led the ticket for a coalition party, the Congress for Democratic Change, with Jewel Howard-Taylor as his vice presidential running mate. She is a senator and the ex-wife of imprisoned former warlord and President Charles Taylor, which raised concerns among some Liberians.
Weah had run in the country’s last two elections, winning the first round of the 2005 vote that eventually went to Sirleaf. He ran as the vice presidential candidate with diplomat Winston Tubman in the 2011 poll; they boycotted the runoff that granted Sirleaf her second term.
He was born in a slum of the capital, Monrovia, and showed early promise in soccer. He played for top local clubs before starting his international career in Cameroon, then moved on to AS Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain, where he became famous.
While with AC Milan, Weah in 1995 won World Player of the Year. He later played for Chelsea and Manchester City. AC Milan on Friday tweeted its congratulations on “legend” Weah’s win.