By Evelyn Kpadeh Seagbeh
MONROVIA, Liberia (AA) - Former football star George Weah was sworn in as Liberia's president on Monday in the first peaceful democratic transition of power in more than 70 years.
He became the 24th president of the country, replacing outgoing President and Nobel Laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
The oath-taking ceremony was held at the country's largest sports stadium, Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex in the capital.
The venue was thronged with fans, several heads of African states, representatives of Economic Community of the West African States and the African Union, and local and international partners.
Weah, in his inaugural speech, said his journey to the presidency was a rough one, but now it was time to accelerate the country's development.
He vowed to punish corrupt officials in his government.
“It is time to put the interest of the people above our selfish interests. Even though corruption is a habit among our people, we must end it," he said.
He added: "We must pay civil servants a living wage so that corruption is not an excuse for taking what is not theirs."
He, however, asked Liberians to reduce their expectations, stressing that developing the country “is not a miracle or a quick fix”.