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Former soccer star wins Liberian presidential election

by Evan Wilt
Posted 12/29/17, 10:59 am

George Weah, a former international soccer star, won Liberia's presidential election this week, marking the first democratic transfer of power for the West African nation in more than 70 years. Weah’s opponent, Vice President Joseph Boakai, conceded on Friday with about 98 percent of votes counted. The latest tally shows Weah, 51, ahead by 23 points in Tuesday’s election. Africa's first female president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, plans to step aside in January after serving two terms, and Weah expects to take over Jan. 16. At the height of his soccer career, FIFA named Weah its World Player of the Year in 1995. He entered politics after he retired from soccer in 2003. Weah ran unsuccessfully against Sirleaf in 2005. Bokari served as Sirleaf’s vice president for 12 years, but Sifleaf did not support either candidate in this week’s election. This was Liberia's first independently run election since the end of the nation’s second civil war in 2003.

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Evan Wilt

Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.

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