George Weah, the only African footballer to win FIFA’s World Player of the Year award, will make a second bid to become president of Liberia. He said he had the “vision” to transform the country. Mr Weah, who played for teams including Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Chelsea, was the highest-ranking African footballer in Fifa’s list of greatest players of the 20th century.
His previous presidential bid, in 2005, was defeated by current president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Her second term in office will end in 2017 and under the country’s constitution, she cannot run again. During his football career, Mr Weah became a UN goodwill ambassador. Later he turned to politics. He is currently a senator for the western province of Montserrado, which includes the capital Monrovia.
In 2011 he ran for vice-president under Winston Tubman but did not win. Mr Weah belongs to the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) party. The former football star, who leads his own party in his homeland, said he can overcome divisions and tackle problems that have threatened the democratic process.
“I can form cooperation and collaborations for my people to work and I am ready to work. I have done so much for Africa and I think in the governance process I can bring more on the table,” he said.
His second run for the position comes eleven years after disputed election results saw him lose to sitting President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Weah was elected senator on December 20, 2014. Some say that is where he belongs. His supporters insist it is a huge step towards the presidency.
Liberia goes to the polls in October, 2017.