Weah on the threshold of history
By Richard Mammah
History can be a snob sometimes.
In 2005, George Oppong Weah ran for President. His illustrious career as a Liberian, African and world football great came in very handy and at the close of the day, he had scored the single highest number of votes in that contest.
But there was a snag. The Liberian constitution had provided explicitly that to be elected President on the first ballot, you had to score 50+1 of all votes cast. He fell short of that mark and that was the beginning.
Liberia was coming out of its ‘Second Civil War.’ The ‘ghost’ of Charles Taylor was still hovering around the political space somewhat. The old pre-Doe and Taylor political interests were regrouping. The Americans and ECOMOG were in the picture. Deals were being made backstage ahead of the second ballot. George Weah lost.
Now history is offering a second chance. Will he get it? Provisional results will be declared later today. If he makes it at first ballot, so be it, but if he does not, then the deals again….
But this time around, it will likely be a more astute negotiator at the table. When his poor educational credentials were pitted against those of Harvard-trained Ellen Sirleaf in 2oo5, he was edged out. He has since gone back to school. When his lack of political experience was a factor back then, today he is a serving senator. And to tackle questions of political aloofness, he has since played with the Tubmans, the Taylors and even Sirleaf!
Are these enough? Will he get it. we wait.