Liberia waiting to hear 1st results of runoff election

Football legend George Weah wins Liberian presidential election

George Weah emerged from Liberia's slums to become a superstar footballer in the 1990s, and has leveraged his status as a revered figure among the country's young and poor in his second run for the presidency.

As Liberia's first female head of state, 79-year-old Nobel Peace Prize victor, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, steps dpwn she leaves the impoverished West African country still reeling from the effects of previous wars and the deadly Ebola outbreak.

Polling stations opened across Liberia on Tuesday for the second round of presidential election as citizens voted to choose a new leader.

The runoff was triggered since neither Weah nor Boakai managed to win 50 percent of the vote, which would have handed either candidate an automatic victory.

Weah (51) starred in top-flight European football teams Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan in the 1990s before playing briefly for Chelsea and Manchester City later in his career. "Because the likes of former President Olusegun Obasanjo are not God, George Weah has been able to achieve his destiny through the grace and power of God and I wish him a successful tenure".


Mr. Weah and ruling Unity Party (UP) candidate Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai are the two contestants in the runoff delayed by legal challenges against results of the 10 October polls.

But Mr Weah's election is not without controversy, as his running mate is Jewel Taylor, former wife of the warlord and ex-President Charles Taylor, who is serving a jail sentence in the United Kingdom for war crimes.

The National Elections Commission said that with 98.1% of ballots counted, Mr Weah had won 61.5% of the vote. The EU's chief observer, Maria Arena, said staff were "better trained" for the run-off.

His CDC party contested those results but has refrained so far this time, though after voting on Tuesday, Weah warned that "what happened in 2005 and 2011 can not be repeated".

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