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article imageFormer Liberian warload backs Weah in Liberian runoff

By AFP     Oct 26, 2017 in World

Ex-warlord Prince Johnson on Thursday announced his support for former football star George Weah in the runoff for Liberia's presidency next month.

"I am calling on my supporters to join me in supporting George Manneh Weah for the presidency," Johnson said at a press conference in Monrovia.

Johnson, head of the Movement for Democracy and Reconciliation (MDR), picked up 8.2 percent of the vote in the first round of voting on October 10.

Weah, who won 38.4 percent, will face Vice President Joseph Boakai, who had 28.8 percent, on November 7.

Johnson told journalists that the dream of Liberians will become a reality only if the opposition joined their efforts.

"I have always said that Liberia needs change with new vision," he said.

"The roads leading to our counties are deplorable. I believe that Liberia can find solution to this problem. I also think that Liberia needs security... food security, job security and health security," he said.

Johnson, a 65-year-old senator, defended his alliance with Weah's Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC) under a pre-electoral agreement among opposition parties in September 2016.

Johnson gained worldwide notoriety through a video showing him sipping beer while his men tortured President Samuel Doe to death in 1990. He has since become an evangelical preacher and politician.

The election runoff will be a crucial test of Liberia's stability.

It will be the country's first democratic handover of power in seven decades as President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female elected head of state, steps down after a maximum two six-year terms.

However, three political parties have already alleged irregularities in the voting process -- telecoms tycoon Benoni Urey's All Liberian Party (ALP), former Coca-Cola executive Alexander Cummings' Alternative National Congress (ANC) and veteran opposition candidate Charles Brumskine's Liberty Party.

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