Former football star George Weah has been elected as Liberia’s president. With nearly all ballots from Tuesday’s run-off vote counted, Mr Weah is well ahead of opponent Joseph Boakai with more than 60% of the vote. As news of Mr Weah’s victory emerged, his supporters began celebrating in the capital Monrovia. He will succeed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female president, in Liberia’s first democratic handover in decades. “My fellow Liberians, I deeply feel the emotion of all the nation,” Mr Weah wrote on Twitter after the results were announced. “I measure the importance and the responsibility of the immense task which I embrace today. Change is on.”
Mr Weah starred at top-flight European football clubs – Monaco, Paris St-Germain, AC Milan, Chelsea and Manchester City. He is the only African footballer to have won both FIFA World Player of the Year and the prestigious Ballon D’Or. Weah, as captain of the Liberian national football team, played in two African Cup of Nations finals. He could not make it to a world cup finals. He entered politics after his retirement from the game in 2002 and is currently a senator in Liberia’s parliament. But Mr Weah’s election is not without controversy, as his running mate was Jewel Taylor, former wife of the jailed former president, Charles Taylor.