Football legend George Weah has won against Vice President Joseph Boakai in Liberia’s presidential election. Weah will take office next month after winning the run-off with a little over 61 percent of the votes. 98.1 percent of the votes have been counted but the difference between the two candidates is big enough to give him the early victory.
Supporters took the streets across many cities to celebrate the win. Many of them celebrated outside the electoral offices, where the results were announced. In 2014, Weah was elected to the Liberian Senate after a huge victory against the president’s son.
The first round of the presidential election took place in October and Weah received 38.4 percent of the votes while Boakai received 28.8 percent. The candidates needed at least 50 percent of the votes to avoid a second round. The run-off was held on December 26.
Weah’s political career began back in 2005, when he announced that he would be running for president. Weah lost in the run-off of that election and later ran for president again in 2011. The former football star now has a tough task ahead as the country is still recovering from the civil wars and a large percentage of the population lives in extreme poverty.
Weah played for a number of clubs during his football career, including PSG and AC Milan. In 1995, Weah won the FIFA World Player of the Year and Ballon d’Or awards. He retired in 2003 and began his political career two years later.
Weah is one of a few former football stars who have made a move to politics. Earlier this year, reports said Ronaldinho was making a move into Brazilian politics. According to local media, he is planning to run for the Senate. Ronaldinho has been out of the sport for two years and recently said that he plans to retire next year. He said he is moving forward to musical projects and his football schools. He also said he might play some farewell games for the teams he has played for. Ronaldinho isn’t the first Brazilian football player to make a move to politics. Romario, who won the World Cup with Brazil in 1994, became a politician in 2010. In that year, he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies. In 2014, he was elected to the Brazilian Senate.