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With almost all ballots counted, National Election Commission President Jerome Korkoya said final results would be released on Friday, but Weah wasted no time in acknowledging his win.

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George Weah won 61.5 percent of votes in the Liberian presidential run-off, according to partial results (AFP / SEYLLOU)

By AFP


Former star footballer George Weah was named winner of Liberia's presidential election on Thursday, easily beating his challenger in the country's first democratic transfer of power in seven decades scarred by civil wars, political assassinations and an Ebola crisis.

With almost all ballots counted, National Election Commission President Jerome Korkoya said final results would be released on Friday, but Weah wasted no time in acknowledging his win.

"My fellow Liberians, I deeply feel the emotion of all the nation. I measure the importance and the responsibility of the immense task which I embrace today. Change is on," he posted on Twitter.

Hundreds of his supporters took to the streets of Monrovia, singing, dancing and embracing each other as news of his victory spread.

"I've never been so happy in all my life. We were in opposition for 12 years. We're going to make history, like the children of South Africa did. I'm so excited," said Josephine Davies, vice president of the youth wing of Weah's Congress for Democratic Change.

"We've waited 12 years, now power is going to the people."

Weah, 51, is set to replace Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who took over in 2006 at the helm of the west African state founded for freed slaves.

The NEC said Weah won 61.5 percent of Tuesday's run-off vote, which was delayed several weeks after a legal challenge from his opponent, Vice President Joseph Boakai, following October's first round.

The NEC said that with 98.1 percent of all votes counted, Boakai had only secured 38.5 percent support.

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