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Former Chelsea and Manchester City striker George Weah wins Liberian presidency

Former Chelsea and Manchester City striker George Weah wins Liberian presidency

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.

Weah supporters paraded through the streets of the capital Monrovia and honked vehicle horns to celebrate the news.

The former football star's campaign - under the Coalition for Democratic Change banner - appealed to the youth vote, while incumbent Vice President Mr Boakai was seen as old and out of touch.

In results announced on Thursday by the chairperson of the country's electoral Commission, Jerome Kokoya, Mr. Weah scored 720,023 votes which is 61.5 percent of the total votes so far collated and counted.

Though voter turnout for Tuesday's runoff was low, Weah drew support from the younger generation, which makes up a majority of Liberia's population of 4.6 million people.

"We are young people and have suffered in this country for so long".

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Weah entered politics after retiring from football in 2003 and worked as a senator in Liberia's parliament, prior to today's news.

Weah, who was named world footballer of the year in 1995, was runner-up to Johnson Sirleaf in the 2005 election.

He played for a number of different teams in Africa before being transferred to Monaco where he was coached by Arsene Wenger.

Almost 2.2 million voters are choosing between the 51-year-old Mr Weah and 73-year-old Joseph Boakai, the current vice president.

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

The former AC Milan, Chelsea, Manchester City and Paris St-Germain striker won the first round in October, winning 38.4 per cent of the vote, compared with the 28.8 per cent Boakai achieved.


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