Former soccer star George Weah has been declared the winner of Liberia’s presidential election.
The country’s electoral commission said Thursday that Weah won 61.5 percent of the total vote and won 14 out of Liberia’s 15 counties.
Weah ran against Vice President Joseph Boakai to replace President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is stepping down after two terms, the maximum allowed under Liberia’s constitution.
The election commission said voter turnout was 56 percent – lower than the October 10 election in which Boakai and Weah were the top vote-getters, qualifying them for the runoff election.
Observers said polling stations were better organized than during the October vote, and there were few reports of problems. The National Elections Commission said a woman who tried to vote twice was caught and arrested.
Weah’s running mate was senator Jewel Howard-Taylor. She is the ex-wife of former rebel leader and president Charles Taylor, who sparked Liberia’s civil war in 1989 and is serving a 50-year prison sentence in Britain for his role in atrocities in Sierra Leone.
Taylor still has supporters in Liberia, and his ex-wife is credited with helping Weah win key counties in the first round of voting.
If all goes smoothly, Liberia will see its first peaceful and democratic transfer of power in more than 70 years.
Source: Voice of America