Liberia VP accepts defeat, congratulates George Weah for runoff win

Liberia VP accepts defeat, congratulates George Weah for runoff win

As Liberia grappled with the Ebola outbreak in 2014, Weah was elected as a senator, defeating Sirleaf's son Robert for the seat.

The National Election Commission later declared Weah president-elect and his running mate, Jewel Howard-Taylor, vice president-elect.

Liberia, a nation founded by freed American slaves, is seeing its first democratic transfer of power in more than 70 years as Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Prize victor, steps down.

"We had wanted him to be the captain of the ship but the Liberian people in their "majority" have spoken; so we want to congratulate the winning team and we wish members of the team the best as they steer the affairs of our state".

French President Emmanuel Macron hailed the ex-star striker's victory in a tweet on Friday.

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Weah adds that "we have a lot to do together to accelerate the building of tomorrow's Africa". Apart from finishing as top scorer for the Italian giants during his first spell, he finished as the UEFA Champions League top goalscorer with seven goals a season eariler with Paris Saint-Germain.

He is set to take office in January.

According to him, he had earlier placed a call to Weah, congratulating him on his prospective victory in the runoff election, and availed himself to help him in any way he may be found useful to advance the good of the country.

In a speech to his supporters, the Unity Party candidate said he had spoken to Weah on the phone and offered him "a hand of goodwill, friendship and gratitude" as he accepted the provisional election results.

Celebrations have begun in Liberia after former FIFA World Player of the Year George Weah won the West African nation's presidential election by a wide margin.

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While the 2017 election will give way to a historic democratic transition not seen in several decades, it is also the first time in many years in the country for a loser in a presidential election to consciously accept results and concede defeat to the victor.

Reports say the former AC Milan striker is all but the victor of Tuesday's run-off, as he now leads incumbent vice-president Joseph Boakai with more than 60 per cent of the votes.

The Liberian National Election Commission, NEC, announced that Weah had won an insurmountable 61.5 percent of Tuesday's vote, which was delayed several weeks after a legal challenge from Boakai.

The tumultuous events of the past 70 years in Liberia, where an estimated 250,000 people died during back-to-back civil wars between 1989-2003, have prevented a democratic handover from taking place since 1944.

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