George Weah is Liberia’s President-elect

George Weah Liberia

Earlier this week (29/12/2017)  the Liberian National Elections Commission (NEC) said former football player George Weah won Tuesday’s second round of the 2017 Liberian presidential election, winning 61.5% of the votes after 98.1% of the ballots were counted, defeating current vice-president Joseph Boakai.

In the first round of the election, held in October, Weah led Boakai, but did not receive the threshold of 50% of the votes. In the second round, the turnout was about 56%, the NEC said. There were 27,873 invalid votes, constituting 2.3% of the total votes.

51-year-old Weah is to become president in January. He competed in the presidential election in 2005, but lost to Ellen Sirleaf. Sirleaf is the first female president of Liberia, has served as the president for two terms, and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.

This election marks the first democratic transition in the country since 1944. It is also the first election run independently by Liberia — without help from the United Nations — since the end of civil war in the country in 2003.

Since December 2014, Weah has served as a senator in the parliament. He competed for the vice-presidential post in 2011, but lost to Boakai.

With him, Jewel Howard Taylor stood for the post of vice-president. In an interview with Deutsche Welle, Weah said Taylor “is a Liberian, capable, qualified, and Liberian people love her. I also believe in gender equality, so I think having a woman as my vice president is a good thing”.

Weah entered politics after retiring from football in 2003. Weah has played for various European football clubs including AS Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan, Chelsea and Manchester City. In 1995, he won the France Football Ballon d’Or as well as FIFA Player of the Year award. He is the only African to win the Balon d’Or.

Yesterday, Weah tweeted, “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.” French president Emmanuel Macron congratulated Weah, and tweeted, “Congratulations to George Weah for his brilliant election and all of the people of Liberia on their path towards peace and reconciliation. Congrats Mister George.”

Story via Wikinews

 

Liberia: or, The Early History & Signal Preservation of the American Colony of Free Negroes on the Coast of Africa.

In 1820, the American Colonization Society (ACS) began sending African Americans volunteers to the Pepper Coast to establish a colony for freed African Americans. The American Colonisation Society is now widely regarded as being a failure in this effort – only an estimated 528 free African Americans were convinced to move to Liberia.[citation needed] These free African Americans came to identify themselves as Americo-Liberian, developing a cultural tradition infused with American notions of racial supremacy, and political republicanism. The ACS, a private organization supported by prominent American politicians such as Abraham Lincoln, Henry Clay, and James Monroe, believed repatriation was preferable to emancipation of slaves. Similar organizations established colonies in Mississippi-in-Africa and the Republic of Maryland, which were later annexed by Liberia. On July 26, 1847, the settlers issued a Declaration of Independence and promulgated a constitution, which, based on the political principles denoted in the United States Constitution, created the independent Republic of Liberia.

 

Charles Taylor and Liberia: Ambition and Atrocity in Africa’s Lone Star State

Campaigner, insurgent, fugitive, rebel commander, commodity kingpin, elected president, exile and finally prisoner, Charles Taylor sought to lead his country to change but instead ignited a conflict which destroyed Liberia in over a decade of violence, greed and personal ambition. Taylor’s takeover threw much of the neigbouring region into turmoil, until he was finally brought to face justice in The Hague for his role in Sierra Leone’s civil war. In this remarkable and eye-opening book, Colin Waugh draws on a variety of sources, testimonies and original interviews – including with Taylor himself – to recount the story of what really happened during these turbulent years.

 

Another America: The Story of Liberia and the Former Slaves Who Ruled It

The first popular history of the former American slaves who founded, ruled, and lost Africa’s first republic

In 1820, a group of about eighty African Americans reversed the course of history and sailed back to Africa, to a place they would name after liberty itself. They went under the banner of the American Colonization Society, a white philanthropic organization with a dual agenda: to rid America of its blacks, and to convert Africans to Christianity. The settlers staked out a beachhead; their numbers grew as more boats arrived; and after breaking free from their white overseers, they founded Liberia—Africa’s first black republic—in 1847.

James Ciment’s Another America is the first full account of this dramatic experiment. With empathy and a sharp eye for human foibles, Ciment reveals that the Americo-Liberians struggled to live up to their high ideals. They wrote a stirring Declaration of Independence but re-created the social order of antebellum Dixie, with themselves as the master caste. Building plantations, holding elegant soirees, and exploiting and even helping enslave the native Liberians, the persecuted became the persecutors—until a lowly native sergeant murdered their president in 1980, ending 133 years of Americo rule.

The rich cast of characters in Another America rivals that of any novel. We encounter Marcus Garvey, who coaxed his followers toward Liberia in the 1920s, and the rubber king Harvey Firestone, who built his empire on the backs of native Liberians. Among the Americoes themselves, we meet the brilliant intellectual Edward Blyden, one of the first black nationalists; the Baltimore-born explorer Benjamin Anderson, seeking a legendary city of gold in the Liberian hinterland; and President William Tubman, a descendant of Georgia slaves, whose economic policies brought Cadillacs to the streets of Monrovia, the Liberian capital. And then there are the natives, men like Joseph Samson, who was adopted by a prominent Americo family and later presided over the execution of his foster father during the 1980 coup.

In making Liberia, the Americoes transplanted the virtues and vices of their country of birth. The inspiring and troubled history they created is, to a remarkable degree, the mirror image of our own.

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