Political Scientist optimistic about prospects of George Weah's government

Marsha Scott
December 31, 2017

"Pursuant to the authority vested in the commission by the constitution and the new electoral law of the Republic of Liberia and based on the result just read, I, acting on behalf of the Board of Commissioners, do hereby declare the presidential ticket of Senator George Weah and Jewel Howard Taylor as the victor of the December 26 presidential runoff election".

Boakai further advocated for the country moving on towards unity, saying, "I said throughout this campaign, it has never been about me".

Immediately after NEC chairman Jerome Korkoya read the final results, Weah's party headquarters erupted into celebration.

"Congratulations to Mister George for this election! We're going to make history, like the children of South Africa did", said Josephine Davies, vice-president of the youth wing of Weah's Congress for Democratic Change.

"On behalf of the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday congratulates Mr George Weah on his election as the next President of the Republic of Liberia". It will coordinate the democratic transfer of power, Liberia's first since 1944, and ensure Weah is provided with regular national security briefings.

Weah responded: "I am honoured to join a new generation of heads of state".

"And in everything that we do and say, let us always think Liberia, love Liberia, and build Liberia", he added. Apart from finishing as top scorer for the Italian giants during his first spell, he finished as the UEFA Champions League top goalscorer with seven goals a season eariler with Paris Saint-Germain.

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He is set to take office in January.

The President of Senegal, Macky Sall, also congratulated Weah on Twitter and wished him "much success". Commonly known as Ma Ellen, Johnson Sirleaf defeated Weah in two previous elections.

Weah was raised in Clara Town, a poor suburb of Monrovia, and played football across the river in West Point, Liberia's biggest informal settlement, where he still commands a large following.

In a concession speech delivered on Friday, Boakai said as a man of peace and humility, and as a patriotic citizen with deep faith in God, he accepts the results of the elections as announced by NEC. He is the only African to win FIFA World Player of the Year.

With over 98% of votes counted, Weah won 61.5% of the ballots while his rival, Veep Joseph Boakai, only 38.5%.

Ms Johnson Sirleaf's 12-year rule cemented peace after Liberia's 1989-2003 civil war and won her the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, but she has been criticised over high-level corruption scandals and persistent poverty in the country.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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