Drogba, Toure, PSG, Monaco react to soccer legend's victory — George Weah

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"First African Ballon d'Or in 1995, first retired player to be elected president of the Republic".

He earned 61.5 percent of the vote, compared to 38.5 percent for his opponent, Vice President Joseph Boakai, the National Elections Commission (NEC) announced.

The ex-football superstar was announced the victor on Thursday of Liberia's presidential run-off.

The challenges facing the new president in Liberia will include fighting corruption, which many in Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's cabinet have been accused of, reducing poverty in a country where more than 64 percent of the people live on less than $1.50, improving the country's infrastructures decimated by the decade-long civil war, a low agricultural production which many of its export goods depend on, improving the country's health system which an Ebola outbreak between 2014 and 2016 nearly rendered obsolete, among other issues.

In a speech to his supporters, the Unity Party candidate said he had spoken to Weah on the phone and offered him "a hand of goodwill, friendship and gratitude" as he accepted the provisional election results.

He called on his supporters to put the election behind them and "push this nation to its rightful place within the community of nations".

He is set to take office in January.

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Liberia elected former football star George Weah as its president in a historic vote whose results were declared yesterday. Weah said that "we have a lot to do together to accelerate the building of tomorrow's Africa".

"I called George Weah to congratulate him as victor in the presidential contest", he said, speaking softly to muted applause. Weah responded by thanking Sall for "his support and advice". "Let's follow the same path", replied Weah.

In their statement, Monaco said: "The entire club congratulates George Weah on his election to the presidency of Liberia and presents him with all its best wishes for success as the head of his country!"

Africa's first female president, Nobel Peace Prize victor Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is stepping aside after two terms at the head of the nation founded by freed American slaves.

"Liberians have a certain sense of hope that George Weah will change the status quo, that he will bring transformation to the country", Ms Neaiai Pailey said.

Liberia ranks 177 out of 188 countries on the U.N. Human Development Index and almost two-thirds of the population lives below the poverty line.

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