Ex-football superstar George Weah was on Thursday declared the winner of Liberia’s run-off presidential election, defeating Vice President Joseph Boakai.
The chairman of the National Election Commission (NEC), Jerome Korkoyah, made the announcement after counting showed that Weah had won an unassailable 61.5 percent of the votes counted. The commission said 98.1 percent of votes placed have been counted.
With this, Weah would be taking over from incumbent Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in January 2018 in the nation’s first democratic transfer of power.
Weah topped the first round of voting in October with 38.4% of ballots but failed to win the 50% necessary to avoid a runoff. Boakai came second with 28.8%.
“The Liberian people clearly made their choice… and all together we are very confident in the result of the electoral process,” tweeted Weah before the official results were announced.
The Office of the President has already signified its readiness to make sure of a smooth transfer of power. Sirleaf’s office said a team has been set up “for the proper management and orderly transfer of executive power from one democratically elected president to another”.
The UN secretary-general, António Guterres, hailed the “peaceful conduct” of the vote and praised “the government, political parties and the people of Liberia for the orderly poll”.
George Opong Weah has really led a storied life. From football to star to head of state.