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Liberia’s Weah replaces controversial justice minister

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Former football player and winner of Liberia’s presidential elections George Weah leaves after a meeting at the offices of his party’s headquarters in Monrovia on Decembre 29, 2017, a day after the second round of the elections. Former star footballer George Weah was named winner of Liberia’s presidential election on December 28, 2017, easily beating his challenger in the country’s first democratic transfer of power in seven decades scarred by civil wars, political assassinations and an Ebola crisis. SEYLLOU / AFP

Liberia’s new president George Weah has bowed to intense pressure and replaced his choice for justice minister after local media reported lawyer Charles Gibson was stripped of his licence for embezzling a client.

A statement withdrawing the nomination “with immediate effect” was issued late Wednesday following the first serious hiccup for the ex-football star since being sworn in for a six-year term on January 22.

Gibson, a high-profile legal figure, was once suspended by the Supreme Court for duping a client out of $25,000, and was ordered to repay the costs.

He will be replaced by Musa Dean, previously a lawyer with the National Elections Commission (NEC), who battled Weah’s political opponents in the Supreme Court as they tried to delay the presidential vote that the sportsman won in a landslide.

The new nomination must be approved by the senate.

Weah has given posts to a mixture of inexperienced but loyal figures from his Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) party, along with some key members held over from the former government.

The former AC Milan and Paris St Germain star has slashed the price of rice and taken a personal pay cut of 25 percent since his inauguration, after campaigning on a platform to raise living standards and tackle corruption.


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