Liberia

Monrovia (AFP) Former international football star George Weah was sworn in as Liberia’s new president on Monday, in the country’s first transition between democratically-elected leaders since 1944. Weah, 51, took over from Nobel laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who spent 12 years at the helm, steering the West African nation away from the trauma of a civil war. He was sworn in as president by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Francis Korkpor. The ceremony took place at a packed sports stadium near the capital, Monrovia, with several African headsRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Former football star George Weah promised to tackle Liberia’s economic and social problems as he was sworn in on Monday in the first democratic transfer of power for more than 70 years. Here are five things he has pledged to do since his election: – Tackle corruption – Failing to tackle endemic corruption among public officials was a key criticism of the outgoing administration of president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Weah said in his inaugural speech that voters had specifically tasked him with rooting out graft. “I believe theRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who shared the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize as a champion of women’s rights, is stepping down after making history as Africa’s first elected female president in Liberia. Taking the reins of a nation that had just emerged from a civil war leaving an estimated 250,000 dead, Sirleaf will be remembered for maintaining peace and attracting massive donor funding as she rebuilt her country from scratch over 12 years in power. “We were a nation exhausted from three decades of conflict. We were starting from zero,Read More
Monrovia (AFP) Incoming Liberian president George Weah on Saturday sought to dispel accusations he is ill-prepared to take the reins of his fragile west African country, and said his priority would be maintaining peace. Former international footballer Weah played a friendly match against the Liberian Armed Forces side, fronting his All Stars team of former national players and friends, two days before his inauguration. Ahead of the game which his team won 2-1, aided by an early goal from the former AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain striker, Weah told journalistsRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Liberia’s ruling party said Sunday it had expelled outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for not backing her vice-president, Joseph Boakai, in a presidential election run-off lost to former footballer George Weah. Sirleaf, 79, will formally hand over power to Weah on January 22 after serving two six-year terms, the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner having made history in 2005 when she became Africa’s first elected female leader. “The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Unity Party has voted to expel” Sirleaf, the party said in a statement. “TheRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who shared the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize as a champion of women’s rights, made history in 2005 when she became Africa’s first elected female president in Liberia. On January 22, she will also preside over the West African country’s first democratic transfer of power since 1944, when former international football star George Weah is sworn in after a prolonged election in which he handily beat Vice President Joseph Boakai in a run-off vote this week. Sirleaf — whose steely nerves were tested at the helmRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Liberians were awaiting Wednesday the result of a presidential election they say represents far more than the choice of a successor to Africa’s first elected female head of state, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Sirleaf’s predecessor Charles Taylor fled the country in 2003 with hopes of avoiding prosecution for funding rebel groups in neighbouring Sierra Leone, while two presidents who served prior to Taylor were assassinated. The tumult of the last seven decades in Liberia, a small west African nation where an estimated 250,000 people died during back-to-back civil warsRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Liberia’s president-elect George Weah vowed Saturday to “improve people’s lives” after the former star footballer secured a stunning run-off victory in the country’s first democratic transfer of power in decades. Idolised in Liberia as “Mister George”, Weah is to be sworn in on January 22, replacing Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who in 2006 took the helm of the West African country first founded for freed US slaves. The electoral board confirmed Weah’s run-off victory on Friday evening, as his rival, Vice President Joseph Boakai, conceded defeat. In his firstRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Vote counting was under way in Liberia on Wednesday following a peaceful run-off election for a new president, pitting former international footballer George Weah against Vice-President Joseph Boakai. Voters were choosing a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is stepping down after 12 years as Africa’s first elected female head of state. Results of Tuesday’s vote are expected in a few days, in what would be the West African country’s first democratic transition since 1944, according to electoral officials. The ballot was delayed for seven weeks dueRead More
Monrovia (AFP) 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. Weah faces Vice President Joseph Boakai in Tuesday’s presidential run-off, the culmination of 12 years spent building political credibility to match his huge popularity. “You know I’ve been in competitions –- tough ones too and I came out victorious. So I know Boakai cannot defeat me,” Weah said ahead of the vote.Read More