World

Liberia swears in Weah as new leader

George Weah, shown with outgoing president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, vowed to end political corrution in Liberia.

MONROVIA, Liberia — Former international soccer star George Weah was sworn in as Liberia’s new president Monday, taking over the impoverished West African nation from Africa’s first female leader.

The 51-year-old, who was FIFA’s 1995 player of the year, took the oath of office to cheers from tens of thousands of Liberians.

‘‘I fully believe that the overwhelming mandate that I received from the Liberian people is a mandate to end corruption in public service; I promise to deliver on this mandate,’’ he said. ‘‘As officials of government it is time to put the interest of our people above our own selfish interests. It is time to be honest with our people.’’

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Weah inherits a weak economy along with poor health and educational sectors.

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‘‘I do not promise you quick fixes or miracles. Instead my pledge to you today is that my administration, with your help, will make steady and deliberate progress toward achieving the hopes and aspirations that you cherish in your heart for Mama Liberia,’’ he said.

ASSOCIATED PRESS