Liberian Supreme Court to Rule on Presidential Runoff


Liberia's Supreme Court halted the presidential election runoff, which had been scheduled for Tuesday, until the National Elections Commission investigates allegations of irregularities and fraud in the first round.

The party initially filed its complaint before the National Elections Commission and proceeded to the Supreme Court while those claims were still being investigated by NEC.

Boakai took 28.8 percent of votes in an October 10 presidential election, behind former worldwide footballer George Weah's 38.4 percent, meaning the two men would enter a runoff round.

However, on October 23, Presidential nominee of the Liberty Party, Charles Brumskine [GNN Liberia profile], filed a complaint alleging a "violation of the Constitution and the Elections Law [and] fraudulent acts and gross irregularities during the elections".

More than two million Liberians went to the polls last month to pick a new leader with president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf set to leave office.

A polling agent counts the ballots for the Liberian presidential election at a polling station in Monrovia, Liberia October 10, 2017.

"There are a lot of irregularities, we believe, majority really calculated to make this election go the way it went", charges Boakai, sporting a trilby hat in an interview at his home in a suburb of the capital, Monrovia, on Monday.

Brumskine last week told The Associated Press last week he looks forward to a rerun of the October vote, in which 20 candidates vied to replace Nobel Peace Prize victor Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

The election was due to be Liberia's first democratic transition in seven decades, and west African leaders met with all sides of the conflict on Wednesday in an attempt to ease the crisis.

Many Liberians view the country with political class with suspicion.

Still, a growing chorus of parties have expressed doubt in the vote, including Boakai's ruling Unity Party, which in an extraordinary statement last week accused Johnson Sirleaf, one of its own members, of trying to influence the vote.

The Supreme Court found that the fraud case was enough to suspend indefinitely the runoff as the electoral commission deals with Brumskine's complaint.

"As you can see, the only people who are not complaining are (Weah's) CDC", he added, though the CDC contested election results in 2005 and 2011 once they didn't come out on top.

The vice president was poised to go public with a weeks-long complaint by his supporters: that Sirleaf backs Weah, not the man who served alongside her in government for 12 years.