MONROVIA, Liberia -- Liberia's National Election Commission has declared George Weah president-elect and Jewel Howard-Taylor vice president-elect following a Dec. 26 runoff poll. The commission says their party, the Coalition for Democratic Change, received 61.5 percent of the vote with 732,185 votes, beating Vice President Joseph Boakai's Unity Party which got 457,579 or 38.5 percent of the votes.

Immediately after NEC chairman Jerome Korkoya read the final results, Weah's party headquarters erupted into celebration.

In his first public comments since his rival conceded Friday, Weah tweeted in French in response to congratulations from French President Emmanuel Macron. Weah said that "we have a lot to do together to accelerate the building of tomorrow's Africa."

The former FIFA World Player of the Year played with AS Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain, among others.

He is set to take office in January.

Liberia, a nation founded by freed American slaves, is seeing its first democratic transfer of power in more than 70 years as President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, steps down.