By John Okeke
Former international football star George Weah was Monday sworn in as President of Liberia.
The ceremony was adjudged as the first peaceful democratic transfer of power in the country in more than seven decades.
Weah won 61.5 per cent of the votes in the December’s election run-off, beating outgoing Vice President Joseph Boakai who garnered 38.5 per cent of the votes.
Voter turnout was 55.8 per cent, or just over 1.2 million people, according to the election commission.
The former world footballer of the year succeeded Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female president.
Weah entered politics after retiring from football in 2002 and run for the presidency in 2005 losing to Sirleaf.
According to agency reports, the last peaceful transfer of power between two democratically elected presidents took place in Liberia in 1944, when Edwin Barclay was replaced by William Tubman.
The swearing-in ceremony at a stadium near the Liberian capital, Monrovia was attended by more than a dozen African and foreign dignitaries, including heads of state from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Mali, Cote da��Ivoire and Guinea.
“I have spent many years of my life in stadiums, but today is a feeling like no other,” President Weah told crowds in the capital Monrovia.
Many Liberians regard the 51-year-old as a hero for his incredible rags-to-riches tale. He was born in a slum in Monrovia, but found fame in international football.
Weah has promised to eradicate corruption in the country of four million people and bolster the weak economy.
By John Okeke