LIBERIA

Liberians vote in presidential run-off pitting ex-footballer against vice president

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is stepping down after 12 years as Africa’s first leader. Two candidates are vying to replace her: Joseph Boakai, who has been vice-president, and George Weah, a former football superstar. Weah came first in the first electoral round in October, Boakai second. A clash between experience and popularity will determine who will become Liberia’s new president. Vice President Boakai represents the ruling Unity Party, which has been in power for 12 years, during which time the country has recovered from a brutal civil war, the economy has quadrupled and violence has largely receded. But much of the public believe that the party is embroiled in corruption. Boakai has promised to bring change. His opponent, Weah, is one of the most popular personalities in Liberia's history, particularly with the youth and disenfranchised. Weah has played for Paris Saint Germain, AC Milan and Chelsea. He is the only African footballer to win the Ballon d’Or.