Monrovia – Former international football star George Weah on Thursday said he would be a candidate in next year’s presidential elections in Liberia — his second bid for the post.
“I want to tell all CDCians to be hopeful. This is our time,” he said, referring to the opposition Congress for Democratic Change.
“I am declaring today my intention to be President of Liberia. I know Liberians believe in me. I am ready to deliver”, he told AFP at his home in Monrovia, before heading to CDC headquarters where thousands of supporters were waiting for him to officially announce his candidacy.
Weah, 49, was a candidate in the 2005 presidential elections, when he was defeated by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
In 2011, he ran as a vice presidential candidate under Winston Tubman, who lost to Sirleaf.
As Sirleaf is ineligible to stand for a third term under Liberia’s constitution, Weah is expected to face her vice president, Joseph Boakai, 71.
Idolised in his home country, “Mister George” as he is known, was elected a senator for the western province of Montserrado, which includes Monrovia, in December 2014, soundly defeating Robert Sirleaf, a son of the president.
Before entering politics he was a star of football clubs such as Paris Saint Germain and AC Milan.
In 1995, he was named FIFA World Player of the Year and winner of the Europe’s Ballon d’Or, becoming the first African player to win both titles.