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George Weah Concedes Liberian Presidential Election to Rival Joseph Boakai
- George Weah turned to politics following a world-class footballing career
- Liberians went to the election booths on Tuesday to vote for their presidential leader
- Weah called his opponent, Joseph Boakai, on Friday night to offer his congratulations
In football and in politics, all that matters is the final score.
Footballer-turned-politician, George Weah, has failed in his bid for re-election to the position of President of Liberia.
The 1995 Ballon d'Or winner was elected president in 2018 but has been defeated by a narrow margin in the run-off elections.
Weah had defeated his rival and now President-elect, Joseph Boakai, by a substantial margin in the 2018 vote but could not earn a repeat.
Weah was highly popular when launching his political career, but that has waned as voters believe he has not been tougher on corruption or has the acumen to implement sound fiscal policies.
President Weah is said to have called Boakai on Friday evening to concede. A quoted by BBC, Weah said:
"[I have] the utmost respect for the democratic process that has defined our nation. Liberians must work together to find common ground. Unity is paramount for mama Liberia."
The Liberian electoral commission declared 78-year-old Boakai the victor with 50.89% of the votes in the two-candidate race.
The outgoing President spoke on national radio after the results were confirmed, as quoted by Reuters:
"A few moments ago, I spoke with president-elect Joseph Boakai to congratulate him on his victory. I urge you to follow my example and accept the results of the elections."
Weah has promised to ensure a smooth transition of power, aiming to preserve the peace that has existed in the once war-torn West African nation for 20 years.
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A list of George Weah's accolades
Sports Brief recently compiled a list of outgoing President Weah's awards and accomplishments.
When elected, he became the fourth youngest serving African president and the first professional footballer to become president.
Dr Weah has three honorary Doctorate degrees awarded for his contributions to sports, humanity, peacebuilding, and education.