George Weah set to win Liberia presidential runoff

Former football star George Weah Presidential candidate for the Coalition for Democratic Change casts his vote during a Presidential runoff election in Monrovia Liberia on Tuesday

Football legend George Weah wins Liberian presidential election

Former professional footballer George Weah has been elected President of Liberia.

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Mr Weah, 51, will succeed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first elected female president, in the country's first democratic handover of power since 1944.

Former global footballer George Weah and Vice-President Joseph Boakai joined voters in casting their ballots in Liberia yesterday.

The U.S. -based Carter Center said there were "notable improvements" in the handling of Tuesday's vote from the first round in October, echoing positive assessments from other global observers.

"George Weah is a good, humble and respectful person that should not be given the Liberian presidency, because he is being controlled by an evil hand", said Benoni Urey, a losing presidential candidate who switched his allegiance to Boakai. The failure of any candidate to secure an outright majority forced the run-off.

Football legend George Weah wins Liberian presidential election
George Weah set to win Liberia presidential runoff

Weah, a former football star and senator from the Congress for Democratic Change party, has won more than 61 percent of the vote with 98 percent of ballots counted, according to Liberia's election commission.

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

It's hard to exaggerate the importance of today's poll which will seen one democratically elected government hand over to another for the first time in 73 years.

Turnout was "nowhere near that of the first round held in October", our correspondent said, attributing the low numbers to a seven-week delay in holding the runoff.

He and Boakai voted in polling stations near their homes in Paynesville, a suburb of Monrovia, the capital of this nation of 4.6 million people.

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