Football star George Weah was sworn in as President of Liberia Monday January 22, in the country’s first democratic transfer of power for more than 70 years.
Weah, a decorated football star, took over from Africa’s first female president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Liberians of all ages formed long lines outside Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium, near the capital, Monrovia, to watch Weah’s inauguration.
“I have spent my life in stadiums but I’ve never felt like this,” Weah said in his inaugural address, captured by Pleasures Magazine’s Saryon Korpo.
Weah, 51, won more than 60% of the votes and beat incumbent Vice-President, Joseph Boakai, in a runoff election on December 26.
The short ceremony was witnessed by African heads of state and dignitaries from Senegal, Mali, Ghana and Nigeria.
Weah won the first round in October with 38.4% of the vote, while Boakai received 28.8%, the National Elections Commission said.
Because neither candidate garnered more than 50% of the vote, a runoff was initially scheduled for November 7.