Soccer star George Weah wins Liberian presidential election

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George Weah emerged from Liberia's slums to become a superstar footballer in the 1990s, and has leveraged his status as a revered figure among the country's young and poor in his second run for the presidency.

Former global soccer star George Weah is poised to win Liberia's presidency, according to provisional results released by the National Elections Commission.

But, though Liberia enjoyed prolonged peace, post-civil war stability and weathering a devastating Ebola outbreak during Johnson Sirleaf tenure, the president is accused of failing to combat poverty and corruption.

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

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

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Polling stations opened across Liberia on Tuesday for the second round of presidential election as citizens voted to choose a new leader.

Weah led the first round of voting on October 10 but didn't get enough votes to win outright. His failure to secure an outright majority forced a run-off.

Weah (51) starred in top-flight European football teams Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan in the 1990s before playing briefly for Chelsea and Manchester City later in his career.

Weah has also fended off barbs over his vice-presidential pick, Jewel Howard-Taylor, the ex-wife of jailed former president and warlord Charles Taylor.

He entered politics after his retirement in 2002 and is now a senator in Liberia's parliament. Election officials put turnout at 56%. "Many voters are eager for change and therefore less likely to cast their ballots for the incumbent party".

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