Liberia waiting to hear 1st results of runoff election

Posted December 29, 2017

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has congratulated the newly elected President of Liberia, George Opong Weah, describing him as someone destined by God to be president.

The Liberian former global soccer legend turned politician won the first round of the polls contested by 20 presidential candidates, but he did not obtain the 50 percent plus one vote required to be declared victor.

Governor Fayose called on the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres to withdraw the nomination of Obassanjo as a mediator in Liberia, noting that; "Obasanjo, who was a major actor in the Liberia's 2005 election crisis lacked moral rights to be a mediator in the affairs of that country now that it had the first peaceful transfer of power from one democratically-elected leader to another in more than 70 years".

Mrs Sirleaf defeated Mr Weah in the presidential election run-off in 2005, after the end of a brutal civil war.

Though the NEC has not made any pronouncement following the vote on Tuesday, unofficial results that are partly coming in appear to put Mr. Weah in the early lead against Mr. Boakai.

Weah supporters paraded through the streets of the capital Monrovia and honked vehicle horns to celebrate the news.

But Weah on Thursday (Friday NZ time) was announced as the next president of Liberia after defeating ruling vice-president Boakai.

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Meanwhile, CDC Vice Chairman for Operations Mr. Mulbah Morlu has urged partisans to remain calm and wait for the official pronouncement from the NEC.According to him, it is clear that the CDC is now the ruling party, but notes that it is just the matter of days for the electoral house to declare them as victor. His failure to secure an outright majority forced a run-off.

Weah starred in top-flight European football teams Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan in the 1990s before playing briefly for Chelsea and Manchester City in England later in his career.

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

Turnout was "nowhere near that of the first round held in October", our correspondent said, attributing the low numbers to a seven-week delay in holding the runoff.

But Mr Weah's election is not without controversy, as his running mate is Jewel Taylor, former wife of the warlord and ex-President Charles Taylor, who is serving a jail sentence in the United Kingdom for war crimes.

Sirleaf is stepping down after two terms as president.

Taylor is serving his 50-year prison sentence in the United Kingdom for war crimes related to the conflict in neighbouring Sierra Leone.