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Nana Addo commends George Weah, Boakai for peaceful polls

President Nana Addo has congratulated former footballer, George Weah on his election as Liberia’s President.

Mr. Weah beat his opponent Joseph Boakai with more than 60% of the votes in Tuesday’s run-off election.

While expressing the hope that the just ended polls will lead to an improvement of living standards of Liberians, the President observed that the election had also “strengthened the frontiers of democracy in Liberia”

The President also commended Mr. Weah’s opponent, Boakai, who is currently Liberia’s Vice President for the “maturity” exhibited during his campaign.

“Best wishes for the success of President-elect George Weah, and Vice President –elect, Jewel Taylor,” he added.

Mr. Weah will succeed Africa’s first elected female President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Liberia’s first democratic handover in decades.

Who is George Weah?

Mr. Weah, who was raised in a slum in Liberia’s capital Monrovia, starred at top-flight European football clubs Paris St-Germain (PSG) and AC Milan, before ending his career in England with brief stays at Chelsea and Manchester City.

He is the only African footballer to have won both Fifa World Player of the Year and the prestigious Ballon D’Or.

He entered politics after his retirement from the game in 2002 and is currently a senator in Liberia’s parliament.

His former club, PSG, congratulated him on Twitter.

Background

Liberia, founded by freed US slaves in the 19th Century, has not had a smooth transfer of power from one elected president to another since 1944.

Mrs Sirleaf defeated Mr Weah in the presidential election run-off in 2005 and took office a year later, after the end of a brutal civil war that saw President Charles Taylor forced out by rebels.

Taylor is now serving a 50-year prison sentence in the UK for war crimes related to the conflict in neighbouring Sierra Leone.

This time Mr Weah’s campaign – under the Coalition for Democratic Change banner – appealed to the youth vote, while incumbent Vice-President Boakai was seen as old and out of touch.

But Mr Weah’s election is not without controversy, as his running mate was Jewel Taylor, former wife of the jailed president.

By: Marian Ansah with files from BBC/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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