George Weah is Sworn In
Liberian President George Weah has appointed the first members of his cabinet, all of them men, largely naming party allies but picking a foreign minister close to former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Weah was sworn in on Monday at Samuel Kanyon Doe stadium near the capital, Monrovia where he was surrounded by ecstatic supporters.
Football legend George Weah’s inauguration ceremony marked the country’s first democratic transition of power since 1944.
George Weah, who won the second round of presidential elections at the end of last year, has no experience in politics
The lack of women so far in the cabinet may also raise eyebrows after 12 years under Sirleaf, who pushed for women to enter public life and strengthened protections against abuse and female genital mutilation as her final act in office.
Weah’s right-hand man is the chairman of his Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) party, Nathaniel McGill, who becomes minister of state and chief of staff.
He guided the president through a bruising electoral campaign last year and was already his top aide.
Senior CDC figure Samuel Tweah becomes finance secretary, while Liberian lawyer Charles Gibson, a friend of Weah’s, becomes Justice Minister.
Sam Mannah, the president’s press aide from his years as a senator, becomes his press secretary.
Former Unity Party senator Gbehzohngar Findley was appointed to the key post of foreign minister.
Major General Daniel Ziankhan, becomes defense minister, while his deputy, Brigadier General Charles Johnson, succeeds him in the position.
In his inaugural speech, Weah vowed to crack down on corruption and the payment of civil servants as well as encourage the private sectors.
Weah is inheriting from his predecessor, Africa’s first female President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a weak economy and poor health and education.
Weah will be deputized by Jewel Taylor.