Monday, Aug. 09, 2010

George Weah

In the 1990s, George Weah was a dynamo footballer. Born in Monrovia, Liberia, he eventually made his way to AC Milan where, for about half a decade, he made waves as one of the world's best players. In 1995, he was named European, African and world player of the year. Upon his retirement in 2003, he decided to go into politics in his native land, which had just ended a years-long civil war that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands. Coming off six years of rule under President Charles Taylor (currently on trial for war crimes), Liberia was in desperate need of new leadership. Weah jumped into the race, figuring he could ride the nation's youth vote to an eventual victory. He miscalculated, losing to current President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the 2005 contest, 59% to 41%. In what must have been a rare feeling, Weah walked away a loser, but not before alleging fraud on the part of Johnson Sirleaf. He recently announced that he will run again, in the 2011 presidential election.