Former football player sworn in as Liberia's president

Bildergalerie George Weah designierter Präsident Liberia | 1995

Bildergalerie George Weah designierter Präsident Liberia | 1995

Former global football star George Weah has been sworn in as president of Liberia, the first peaceful democratic transfer of power in the West African country in more than seven decades.Weah won 61.5 percent of the votes in December's election run-off, beating outgoing vice president Joseph Boakai who garnered 38.5 percent of the ballot.

"Looking over the horizon I see a new era", said a boy in a shiny blue suit and red bow tie with a theatrical flourish as Weah and Sirleaf looked on, adding that Weah promised "hope for every Liberian child, whether rich or poor".

"The way to directly affect the poor is to ensure our resources do not enter in the pockets of government officials".

"I believe the overwhelming mandate that I received from the Liberian people is a mandate to end corruption in public service. I promise to deliver on this mandate".

"As officials of government it is time to put the interests of our people above our own selfish interest".

He warned that those who enrich themselves at the expense of the people "will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law".

"To the private sector, I say to you, Liberia is open for business", he said in his address. "Though corruption is a habit among our people, we must end it".

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In his inauguration speech at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Monrovia, the former AC Milan striker thanked his predecessor, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, for helping bring peace to Liberia.

Obasanjo while speaking to newsmen said he was proud to witness a peaceful democratic transfer of power in Liberia considering the huge sacrifices made by Nigeria for peace and stability in the country.

The venue was thronged with fans, several heads of African states, representatives of Economic Community of the West African States and the African Union, and local and worldwide partners.

President Muhammadu Buhari was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The airport is witnessing an influx of special guests from Africa and around the world, including current and former heads of states.

"I have many plans for Liberia".

Some football stars including Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o and Nigeria's Sunday Oliseh and Taribo West were present at the historic ceremony as George Weah becomes the first football star to rise to the level of president of a country.

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