President congratulates Liberian President-elect, George Weah

george_weah2President Nana Akufo-Addo has congratulated President-elect of Liberia George Oppong Weah.

In a Facebook post, Nana Akufo-Addo said “Warm congratulations to George Oppong Weah on his decisive victory in Liberia’s peaceful presidential run-off, thus becoming the next President of the Republic of Liberia.

He continued that “Vice President Boakai is also to be commended for the maturity of his campaign. This election has strengthened the frontiers of democracy in Liberia, and it is our hope that it will lead to the improvement of the living standards of Liberians. Best wishes for the success of President-elect George Weah, and Vice President-elect, Jewel Taylor.”

With nearly all ballots from Tuesday’s run-off vote counted, the President-elect is well ahead of opponent Joseph Boakai with more than 60 per cent of the vote.

The 51 year old will succeed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female president, in Liberia’s first democratic handover in decades.

Mr. Weah in a post on Twitter expressed joy at the outcome of the election results saying that “My fellow Liberians, I deeply feel the emotion of the entire nation. I measure the importance and the responsibility of the immense task which I embrace today. Change is on.”

Mr. Weah is a former football player who starred for top-flight European football clubs including Paris St-Germain (PSG) and AC Milan, before ending his career in England with brief stays at Chelsea and Manchester City.

He is widely known as the only African footballer to have won both FIFA World Player of the Year and the prestigious Ballon D’Or.

He entered politics after his retirement from the game in 2002 and currently serves as a senator in Liberia’s parliament.

Mr. Weah won the first round of the presidential election in October with 38.4 per cent of the vote while Mr. Boakai came out with 28.8 per cent to force a run-off election between the two candidates.

Last Thursday, the National Elections Commission (NEC) said that with 98.1 per cent of the run-off vote counted, Mr Weah had won 61.5 per cent of the vote while Mr. Boakai was far behind with 38.5 per cent.

Despite legal challenges which delayed the elections, turnout was put at 56 per cent by election officials.

More than two million people were eligible to cast their ballots in the nation of 4.6 million people.

By Claude Nyarko Adams

 

 

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