Former Chelsea and Manchester City striker George Weah wins Liberian presidency

  • Former Chelsea and Manchester City striker George Weah wins Liberian presidency

Former Chelsea and Manchester City striker George Weah wins Liberian presidency

Mr Weah, 51, won the first round of the presidential election in October with 38.4% of the vote, compared with the 28.8% won by second-placed Mr Boakai, 73.

As news of Mr Weah's victory emerged on Thursday, his supporters began celebrating in the capital Monrovia.

Former soccer star George Weah has defeated Vice President Joseph Boakai to win Liberia's presidential run-off election with 61.5% of the vote based on 98.1% of ballots cast, the election commission said.

"Former Ballon D'or victor & Current President of Liberia".

Weah is set to replace Africa's first female head of state, economist and Nobel Peace Prize victor Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and see the West African nation, founded by freed American slaves, hand over power from one democratically elected government to another.

Turnout was said to be low, at around 56 per cent, or roughly two million of the country's 4.6 million people.

The victor will replace Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is stepping down after two terms.

Weah went on to play for top clubs such as Milan, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, winning league titles in France and Italy and the FA Cup in England.

Born in Liberia, it was Arsene Wenger who brought him over to Europe, when he was manager of Monaco in 1988.

Liberia is Africa's oldest modern republic and was founded by freed United States slaves in 1847.

Former football player George Weah's campaign said on Wednesday that he was on course to win Liberia's presidential election run-off in the country's first democratic transfer of power in more than seven decades.

The US-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.