Former Ballon d’Or winner, George Weah sworn in as 25th Liberia president

Former Ballon d’Or winner, George Weah sworn in as 25th Liberia president

Former international football star, George Weah has been sworn in as president of Liberia.

George Weah took office as the new president of Liberia with pledges to fight corruption and revive the economy of the small West African nation that was hit by the worst-ever Ebola crisis only a decade after ending a protracted civil war.

Weah won 61.5 percent of the votes in December’s election run-off, beating outgoing vice president Joseph Boakai who garnered 38.5 percent of the ballot.

Voter turnout was 55.8 percent, or just over 1.2 million people, according to the election commission.

The former world footballer of the year succeeded Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female president.

“I promise to be the agent of positive change,” Weah, 51, told a packed stadium in the capital, Monrovia, following Monday’s swearing-in ceremony.

“We owe our citizens moral clarity on fundamental issues including civil liberties and accountability of national resources. My popular mandate is a mandate to end corruption.”

Weah replaces Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who steps down after completing two six-year terms in office.

While the inauguration marks Liberia’s first peaceful transfer of power from one democratically elected head of state to another in decades, Weah takes the helm of the nation of 4.5 million people with little experience in governance other than three years in the Senate.

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