Despite promising a comeback in 2029, Liberia’s outgoing president George Weah has said he has no plans to run for the top job again after his defeat in recent elections.
Weah, 57, a former international football star, won the presidency in 2017 but lost in November polls to Joseph Boakai, who is due to be inaugurated on January 22.
Addressing his future with congregants at the church he attends outside the capital Monrovia on Sunday, Weah pointed to his age at the next presidential vote in 2029, according to a recording of his remarks.
“I am 57 now and our retirement age is 65 and six years from now I will be 63 and I cannot work for two years,” he said.
“You are not going to drag me to politics until I reach 90 years,” he added.
“I became a president, so I say thank you Liberians that I became president whether it was one time or 50 times, but I can guarantee you that it’s one time.”
Weah did not reveal what he planned to do next but said he would work for peace and prosperity, in one of the world’s poorest countries.
He won praise for conceding and promoting a non-violent transition in a region marred by coups.
Before entering politics, Weah was the only African to win football’s most prestigious individual award, the Ballon d’Or during a career as a striker for top-flight European teams.
Boakai, who is 79, won a narrow victory over Weah by a margin of just 20,567 ballots with a 50.64 percent vote share.