Former Ballon d'Or Winner George Weah Thanks Liberia For Voting For Him

Former Ballon d'Or Winner George Weah Thanks Liberia For Voting For Him

"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. "We have to postpone the Christmas celebration to another date", 27-year-old Emmanuel Johnson explained.

There were no reports of violence as voting proceeded under sunny skies in the capital Monrovia. "So I know Boakai can not defeat me", Weah said.

Boakai and Weah were the top vote-getters in the October 10 election, with Weah getting 38.4 percent and Boakai coming in second with 28.8 percent.

"You know I've been in competitions -tough ones too and I came out victorious".

Urey and others say Weah is being manipulated by Sirleaf so she can continue to push an agenda when she steps down after 12 years in power. "So I know Boakai can not defeat me", Weah told AFP.

The striker-turned politician becomes the 25th president of the country. "I have the people on my side".

"George Weah is in a stronger position than in 2005", said Ben Payton, head of Africa research at England-based risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft.

Weah's running mate is Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor. Weah also polled well in Bong County, where there's a strong affinity to ex-leader Taylor.

Critics of Boakai, 73, have accused him of doing little as Johnson Sirleaf's vice president.

Observers from the US-based National Democratic Institute said polling stations were better organised than in the first round.

Johnson Sirleaf's 12-year rule cemented peace in the West African country after civil war ended in 2003, and brought in much needed aid. As a result, Boakai is also plagued with the burden of being her deputy.



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