George Weah of Liberia was on the path set to win the presidential election. Weah is no stranger of the public eye, as he started gaining fans before he was even a politician. Weah used to play for Liberia’s national soccer team and was even names as a FIFA World Player of the Year. So far, Weah has received 61.5% of ballot votes while his opponent, Vice President Joseph Boakai has received 38.5%.
Liberia is a nation founded by freed American slaves and is located in West Africa. Prior to this election, Liberia was governed by their first female president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Sirleaf was a Nobel Peace Prize Winner but was often criticized by her opponents for not cracking down hard enough on the issue of corruption.
This shift in governmental power will be the first in over 70 years. Yeah, who is now 51, first entered politics in 2002 as a senator. For this election, Weah had won support from the younger generation which makes up most of Liberia’s population of around 4.6 million people. Yeah ran as the candidate for a coalition party with Jewel Howard-Taylor, ex-wife of imprisoned former warlord and President Charles Taylor, as his Vice President running mate.
Since the end of the country’s civil war, this election is the first independently run election to occur in Liberia. And even while the election technically wasn’t over until this past week, Weah was expected to win and will take office as the next Liberian president beginning in January of 2018.