Thursday 5 December 2019

Former football star George Weah to be sworn in as new Liberian president

The 51-year-old takes over from Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female president.

George Weah in his playing days (Empics/PA)
George Weah in his playing days (Empics/PA)

By Associated Press

Former football star George Weah is to be sworn into office on Monday as Liberia’s new president, taking over leadership of the impoverished nation from Africa’s first female president.

The 51-year-old, who was FIFA’s 1995 player of the year, won the run-off vote on December 26 against the outgoing vice president.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf served for 12 years, lifting Liberia from the destruction of back-to-back civil wars that ended before her tenure and facing the challenge of the Ebola crisis that killed thousands.

Mr Weah, who has run for the presidency before but is relatively new to national politics, inherits a weak economy with poor health and education sectors.

Liberians held prayer services for 48 hours leading up to his inauguration.

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