The Latest: Liberia's VP congratulates Weah on election win

The Latest on Liberia's election (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

Liberia's vice president is congratulating former international soccer star George Weah on winning the West African nation's presidency.

Joseph Boakai in an address to the nation on Friday is offering to help Weah's new government if needed.

With more than 98 percent of votes counted late Thursday, Weah had received 61.5 percent of ballots while Boakai received 38.5 percent.

Liberia, a nation founded by freed American slaves, is seeing its first democratic transfer of power in more than 70 years as Africa's first female president, Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, steps aside.

The 51-year-old Weah, a senator who entered politics more than a decade ago, will take over in January.

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6:45 a.m.

Celebrations have begun in Liberia as former FIFA World Player of the Year George Weah is set to be declared the winner of the West African nation's presidential election.

With more than 98 percent of votes counted late Thursday, Weah received 61.5 percent of ballots while Vice President Joseph Boakai received 38.5 percent.

Liberia, a nation founded by freed American slaves, is seeing its first democratic transfer of power in more than 70 years as Africa's first female president, Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, steps aside. She led the country from back-to-back civil wars and saw it through a deadly Ebola outbreak.

The 51-year-old Weah, a senator who entered politics after his 2002 retirement, led the first-round election in October but didn't receive enough votes to win outright.