Ex-footballer George Weah elected President of Liberia

Football legend George Weah wins Liberian presidential election

He won the first round in October with 38.4% of the vote, compared with the 28.8% of Mr Boakai, 73.

The victor will replace Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female president, who is stepping down after two terms in office.

His rags to riches story helped him tap into dissatisfaction with Johnson Sirleaf's 12-year tenure, which drew a line under years of civil war but was criticised for failing to root out elite corruption or persistent poverty.

Former world footballer of the year George Weah has won Liberia's presidential election.

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

"George Weah is a good, humble and respectful person that should not be given the Liberian presidency, because he is being controlled by an evil hand", said Benoni Urey, a losing presidential candidate who switched his allegiance to Boakai. His failure to secure an outright majority forced a run-off.

Football legend George Weah wins Liberian presidential election
Ex-footballer George Weah elected President of Liberia

State radio correspondents reported unofficial results overnight indicating that former worldwide soccer player George Weah led in several counties, but election authorities warned the two parties to "stop making premature pronouncements".

The elections commission says Weah received 61.5 percent of the votes counted, while Vice President Joseph Boakai has received 38.5 percent.

He entered politics after his retirement in 2002 and is now a senator in Liberia's parliament.

Weah has also fended off barbs over his vice-presidential pick, Jewel Howard-Taylor, the ex-wife of jailed former president and warlord Charles Taylor.

The next leader of the West African nation, the successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, will be decided by Liberia's 2.1 million eligible voters.

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