monrovia - George Weah is the new president of Liberia. The former football star has clearly defeated his rival Joseph Boakai in the decisive second round of the election campaign. The 51-year-old Weah received support from 61.5 percent of the more than two million voters in the West African country.
The chairman of the national electoral commission called Weah the winner on Thursday, after 98.1 percent of the votes had been counted. Weah succeeds Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Head of State in January. It is the first democratic change of power in Liberia since 1944. Boakai (73) was vice president.
'King George', as the footballer is called by his supporters, is especially popular among the youth in the slums. Many of them believe that they have not benefited from the recovery of their country after a bloody 15-year civil war. Just before the end of the civil war, Johnson Sirleaf, a financial expert, received the peace prize.