Liberia to swear in new leader ex-soccer star George Weah

Former international soccer star George Weah will be sworn into office Monday as Liberia's new president, taking over leadership of this post-war, impoverished West African nation from Africa's first female president.

The 51-year-old, who was FIFA's 1995 player of the year, won the runoff vote on Dec. 26 against the outgoing vice president.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf served for 12 years, lifting Liberia from the destruction of back-to-back civil wars that ended before her tenure and facing the challenge of the Ebola crisis that killed thousands here.

Weah, who has run for the presidency before but is relatively new to national politics, inherits a weak economy with poor health and education sectors.

Liberians held prayer services for 48 hours leading up to Weah's inauguration.