The Difference Between Haile and Liberia’s George Weah (The Africa Report)

Ethiopia's Track legend Haile Gebrselassie plans to run for the presidency of Ethiopia. But will his sporting fame be enough to administer the fate and future of a nation and its people? (The Africa Report)

The Africa Report

By Konye Obaji Ori

The two-time Olympic gold medalist and multiple world 10,000 metre champion says he wants to “reach more people” through politics.

Liberia’s George Weah is the only other former athlete in Africa who has attempted, and failed, to transfer fame gained on the sports field into a political calling of his nation’s highest office.

Europe and America have had their fair share of athletes that have made the transition from the world of sports to the world of politics.
But whether Gebrselassie’s fame will be enough to sway Ethiopians could depend on how he enters politics, unlike Weah who went straight for the presidential seat right from the onset.

Like Weah, Gebrselassie is highly decorated globally. He set over 26 world records in 5,000 meters and marathon races.

But unlike Weah, Gebrselassie plans to run for a seat in parliament as an independent candidate in 2015. Ethiopia counts just one opposition member, an independent, in parliament.

The next presidential election, being only two months away, in September, Gebrselassie believes it is probably “too soon,” to target the office of the president of Ethiopia.

“The big mistake would be to stay out of politics and miss the chance to do something to help.

“We are here in our country, Ethiopia. And as long as we live here, we should play our part. We have to sort (out) any problems we have,” the icon told Associated Press news agency.

Gebrselassie has seemingly studied the terrain and has adopted a more strategic approach to his presidential ambitions than Weah appeared to have done in 2005.

While Weah was running for Liberia’s presidency against subsequent winner President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2005, Gebrselassie was setting up a group called the Elders Council.

Read the full article at The Africa Report.

Haile Gebrselassie to Run for Parliament (AP)

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1 Response to “The Difference Between Haile and Liberia’s George Weah (The Africa Report)”

  1. 1 “Yichalal” Haile Intends to Lead Ethiopia with a Message: Anything is Possible at Tadias Magazine Pingback on Jul 14th, 2013 at 1:46 am
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