The Latest: Liberia declares George Weah president-elect

AP News
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Posted: Dec 29, 2017 1:04 PM
The Latest: Liberia declares George Weah president-elect

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — The Latest on Liberia's election (all times local):

6:00 p.m.

Liberia's National Election Commission has declared George Weah president-elect and Jewel Howard-Taylor vice president-elect following a Dec. 26 runoff poll.

The commission says their party, the Coalition for Democratic Change, received 61.5 percent of the vote with 732,185 votes, beating Vice President Joseph Boakai's Unity Party which got 457,579 or 38.5 percent of the votes.

Immediately after NEC chairman Jerome Korkoya read the final results, Weah's party headquarters erupted into celebration.

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4:30 p.m.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated George Weah on his election as Liberia's next president.

Buhari issued a statement Friday that also commended the Liberian people "on the peaceful conduct of the historic presidential runoff election. " He called Tuesday's vote "another plus on Africa's democratic scoreboard."

Buhari says Nigeria is ready to work with Liberia on issues of mutual interest and called Weah's victory "an affirmation of the will of the Liberian people to remain united, peaceful and prosperous."

He also commended outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for her work in transforming Liberia during her 12 years in office.

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 winner, steps down.

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3 p.m.

Liberia's president-elect and ex-soccer star George Weah says he is "honored to join a new generation of heads of state."

In his first public comments since his rival conceded Friday, Weah tweeted in French in response to congratulations from French President Emmanuel Macron.

Weah adds that "we have a lot to do together to accelerate the building of tomorrow's Africa."

The former FIFA World Player of the Year played with AS Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain, among others.

He is set to take office in January.

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2 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron has called Liberia's president-elect George Weah to congratulate him and invite him to visit.

The French presidency says in a statement that Weah accepted the invitation.

Macron says the former soccer star and FIFA World Player of the Year still has "a special place in the French's hearts."

Weah played with AS Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain, among others.

He will take office in January.

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12:20 p.m.

Liberia's vice president is congratulating former international soccer star George Weah on winning the West African nation's presidency.

Joseph Boakai in an address to the nation on Friday is offering to help Weah's new government if needed.

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With more than 98 percent of votes counted late Thursday, Weah had received 61.5 percent of ballots while Boakai received 38.5 percent.

Liberia, a nation founded by freed American slaves, is seeing its first democratic transfer of power in more than 70 years as Africa's first female president, Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, steps aside.

The 51-year-old Weah, a senator who entered politics more than a decade ago, will take over in January.

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6:45 a.m.

Celebrations have begun in Liberia as former FIFA World Player of the Year George Weah is set to be declared the winner of the West African nation's presidential election.

With more than 98 percent of votes counted late Thursday, Weah received 61.5 percent of ballots while Vice President Joseph Boakai received 38.5 percent.

Liberia, a nation founded by freed American slaves, is seeing its first democratic transfer of power in more than 70 years as Africa's first female president, Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, steps aside. She led the country from back-to-back civil wars and saw it through a deadly Ebola outbreak.

The 51-year-old Weah, a senator who entered politics after his 2002 retirement, led the first-round election in October but didn't receive enough votes to win outright.