Liberians Await Vote Tally in Presidential Election


Former football player George Weah's campaign said on Wednesday that he was on course to win Liberia's presidential election run-off in the country's first democratic transfer of power in more than seven decades.

The National Election Commission (NEC) said Weah had won an insurmountable 61.5 percent of Tuesday's vote, which was delayed several weeks after a legal challenge from Boakai.

The 51-year-old will be succeeding Africa's first female president, Johnson-Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Prize victor credited with guiding the country through a devastating Ebola outbreak.

This was Liberia's first independently run election since the end of its civil wars.

Liberia's election commission chair Jerome Korkoyah announced the news on Thursday evening, confirming Weah's victory in a landslide.

George Weah who led in the first round with 38.4% of the vote could not hold back his tears as hundreds of supporters cheered.

And is sure to succeed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in January.

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"Liberians will tell you that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the outgoing president, has managed to cement peace, which is hugely important after back-to-back civil wars and then that Ebola outbreak three years ago in Liberia but that she has not done enough to make Liberians prosper, to pull them out of poverty and to give them jobs and deal with the economy". I measure the importance and the responsibility of the huge task which I embrace today.

Weah's running-mate is Jewel Howard-Taylor, the ex-wife of the former president and warlord Charles Taylor, who is serving a 50-year sentence for war crimes in a prison in Durham, in the UK.

"It is time for the new breed of leaders to take the stage", Weah said at a rally just before the election.

Weah played for Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan in the 1990s before moving to England late in his career for spells at Chelsea and Manchester City.

He is the only African footballer to have won both Fifa World Player of the Year and the Ballon d'Or. She beat him in 2006 and secured re-election in 2011 when Weah contested as a vice-presidential candidate on the ticket of one Winston Turnbull.

He entered politics after his retirement from the game in 2002 and is now a senator in Liberia's parliament.