Liberia’s Supreme Court stops presidential run off over fraud charges


Former international Liberian football star turned politician, and presidential election candidate George Weah shows his ...
Former international Liberian football star turned politician, and presidential election candidate George Weah shows his voting card prior to casting his vote for Liberia's presidential and legislatives elections, at a polling station in Monrovia on October 10, 2017

Liberia’s Supreme Court has halted preparations for next week’s presidential run-off between former soccer player George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai until it hears a case challenging the first round’s results by a another candidate who alleged fraud.

According to Reuters, the court released a document on Tuesday instructing the National Elections Commission, to file briefs by November 2 responding to issues raised by Liberty Party’s candidate Charles Brumskine.

The court’s decision could delay the run off slated for November 7 pitting Weah and Boakai in the race to succeed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Weah and Boakai were due for a run off after the former garnered 38.4 per cent of the votes while Vice President Joseph Boakai garnered 28.8 per cent meaning that neither of them secured majority votes required for an outright win.

Liberty party lodged the compliant after its candidate Mr. Brumskine who came third in the first round of the presidential election was eliminated after garnering 9.6 percent of the total votes cast in the October 10 poll.

“This is a big step in the right direction. The court recognises the gravity of the issues and has taken action in defense of the law and democracy,” said Liberty Party Chairman Benjamin Sanvee.

Boakai’s ruling party announced it was backing the legal challenge. It accused Johnson Sirleaf, one of its own members, of interfering in the October vote by holding private meetings with election magistrates.

Observers from European Union and the Carter Center however say they saw no major problems with the first round vote.

 

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