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One More Attempt For George Weah. Can He Score the Presidential Win?

George Weah was arguably the best and highest-ranking African footballer in FIFA’s list of greatest players of the 20th century, having played in top leagues for Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Chelsea.

The only African to ever win the FIFA World Player of the Year award and Ballon d’Or, Weah’s political career has not been as successful even though he is an accomplished national hero.

The former international footballer’s Senate role has come under scrutiny over the years after winning the Montserrado County seat that includes the capital, Monrovia.  His limited political background and experience has been detrimental to his previous presidential ambitions with many questioning his qualities in his many attempts at taking on the more demanding role.

Regardless of a low senate performance according to a leading research organization, party members from across Liberia petitioned Weah to run again for president saying they believe he was the man, “to solve Liberia’s numerous problems”.

Recently, Weah made a declaration in an interview with Nigeria’s Daily Trust newspaper, explaining why he will win the 2017 presidential election.

Of his political background, the Liberian said, “I grew up in a politician’s house, that’s my father. He was active in the movement that got Ellen Johnson Sirleaf out of jail, the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA) whose school of thought I also subscribe to.

“For my entire life so far, and my career, I’ve been following Liberian politics and I’ve been involved, even on the international scene. I’ve been actively advocating against the war that ravaged my country.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”I spoke out, so sanity would return to Liberia. If you recall, I gave an interview to Forbes magazine then, in which I said ‘for peace to return, the United Nations needed to come into my country’. They came in, and I was involved in the disarmament process as well.”[/perfectpullquote]

But recent alliances with Alex Tyler – former speaker accused of corruption and former president Charles Taylor – indicted and convicted war criminal for his actions in Sierra Leone, have sparked criticism that many feel will open old wounds and instead ruin his chances once more.

Now that he has his sights set on the presidency again, much is left to speculate over whether the 50-year-old can win the election this time around, next year. Weah was defeated in the 2005 presidential election and again in 2011 when he was a vice president candidate, losing to both in the second round.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”We have grown in politics. In 2005, I was very young and inexperienced. But for twelve years now, I’ve been very active. I’m much into government now. For our rebirth, we’ve been in tune with the intricacies of our nation.[/perfectpullquote]

“We also kept an eye on what the current government is doing, and we speak out when there’s a need. When we need to support them, say to enact laws and such, we do so too in the interest of the people.

“Everyone in the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) has grown, we have matured. When we speak, we don’t incite. We speak words of wisdom. So much so that when I ran for the Senate, even key figures of the opposition came to us, to join us.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”We’ve also fine-tuned all of the intricacies, like early planning, making sure the ballot papers are monitored and so on. We also collaborated with other parties. Like I said, we have grown. I believe I’m a good leader, with skills and the heart to make a positive difference.”[/perfectpullquote]

The three-time African Footballer of the Year will run against vice president, Joseph Boakai, in the election next year. Weah who became a UN goodwill ambassador during his football career belongs to the opposition CDC party.

FUN FACT: When he won World Player of the Year, to everyone’s amazement, Weah gave the award to Arsene Wenger – his former coach and mentor at Monaco who signed him from Cameroonian club, Tonnerre Yaounde.


Featured Photo: Can George Weah win Liberia’s votes as he did football in another attempt at presidency? (GETTY IMAGES)

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