Having received 61.5 percent of the vote, former soccer star George Weah is the winner of Liberia’s presidential run-off election.
Weah, who grew up in a slum in Monrovia, will be sworn in next month. He was up against Vice President Joseph Boakai, and will succeed incumbent Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Weah first ran for president in 2005, winning the first round but losing in the second to Johnson Sirleaf. This time, his running mate was a surprising choice: Jewel Howard-Taylor, whose ex-husband is former Liberian president Charles Taylor, now serving time in prison for war crimes in Sierra Leone.
One supporter, engineer Randall Zarkpah, told Reuters Weah’s success “is victory for the whole country. When you feel sick for some time and you receive proper medication — that is how I feel now. He will be good for our country. He is King George!” Weah played for AC Milan, Paris St. Germain, and Chelsea, and is the only African to ever win FIFA World Player of the Year.