Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, outgoing president of Liberia

Liberian outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has rejected as illegal her expulsion from the governing Unity Party.

Her spokesman said she will return to the party and seek redress after the swearing-in of her successor, former footballer, George Weah, which is scheduled for next Monday.

The executive committee of unity party voted unanimously on Saturday to expel the 79-year-old former leader.

They accused her of violating clauses of the party constitution by encouraging people to vote against her former vice president Joseph Boakai.

Her detractors accuse her of throwing her weight behind Mr Weah during election campaigns, a claim the president has repeatedly denied.

The 51-year-old former AC-Milan footballer takes over a country whose economy is faced with stiff challenges due, in part, to the fall in the global prices of export commodities such as rubber and iron ore.

Sirleaf made history by becoming the first female president on the African continent.