LIBERIA, Monrovia, December 28 – Liberian opposition politician and former football star George Weah won a landslide victory in Senate elections in Ebola-ravaged Liberia, official results showed Sunday.
Weah — who in 1995 became the first and only African yet to win the Ballon d’Or as European footballer of the year and who played for AC Milan, Paris Saint Germain and Monaco — trounced his rival Robert Sirleaf, the son of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Weah got 78 percent of the vote in Montserrado county in the December 20 poll to fill half the seats of the Senate. Turnout was around 25 percent, according to the national election commission.
The election was originally due to be held in October but was postponed over the Ebola outbreak in Liberia.
Sirleaf, who was running as an independent, registered 10.8 percent of the vote.
Montserrado county, in northwestern Liberia, is the west African country’s most populous region and home to nearly a third of its population of four million.
Liberia tops the number of Ebola deaths in the current outbreak with 3,384 fatalities, but it has seen a clear decrease of new transmissions in the past month.
Ebola has killed 7,693 people, almost all of them in the west African epicentres of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Weah, a popular figure in Liberia since his days as a deadly centre-forward, won the first round of the 2005 presidential election, but lost the runoff to Johnson Sirleaf. A 2011 election campaign was also unsuccessful.