The Carter Center today released the final report from its observation mission of Liberia’s 2017 elections, outlining key findings and offering recommendations for reform to strengthen Liberia’s electoral process. The Carter Center’s international election observation reflects the Center’s long-term commitment to support democratic development and improve health in the country. The Center plans to remain engaged in Liberia, working with the current government, civil society organizations, the Liberian National Police, and community leaders to advance access to justice, access to information, and mental health.
The observer mission of Atlanta based US group Carter Center is recommending to national government to carry out proper revision of electoral legislation that will help in addressing election gaps here. “We encourage the government to carry out a full review of electoral legislation through an inclusive process to address gaps and inconsistencies with the goal of bringing the legal framework in line with international standards for democratic elections,” the US group said Thursday, 28 December in Monrovia.
Initial results were expected Thursday in Liberia’s landmark presidential poll, the country’s first democratic transfer of power in decades, pitting former footballer George Weah against Vice President Joseph Boakai. Whoever wins will succeed Africa’s first elected female head of state, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who took over at the helm of the small west African nation in 2006. Sirleaf’s predecessor Charles Taylor fled the country in 2003, hoping to avoid prosecution for funding rebel groups in neighbouring Sierra Leone, while two presidents who served prior to Taylor were assassinated. The tumultuous events of the past seven decades in Liberia, where an estimated 250,000 people died during back-to-back civil wars between 1989-2003, means a democratic handover has not taken place since 1944.
Liberia’s ruling United Party said on Friday it would not appeal the top court’s rejection of its legal challenge to delay an upcoming presidential run-off vote, seen as a crucial test to the crisis-hit country’s stability. The party of Vice-President Joseph Boakai, one of the two contenders in the December 26 ballot, filed the request last week after calling into question the official election body’s integrity. But the Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the party’s demand that parliament be given the power to set a new vote date. “The Supreme Court has decided, what can we say? Nothing. We have taken note, and we will go to the election,” Unity Party spokesman Mohammed Ali told AFP Friday.
Liberia: Runoff Election At Stake – Supreme Court Reserves Ruling in Up Bill of Information | allAfrica.com
On Monday the Supreme Court heard arguments in the Bill of Information seeking a stay order on the pending December 26, 2017 runoff. During the hearing, the Court asked several questions to both contending lawyers. But specifically, it asked the legal team of the National Elections Commission (NEC) if it was attentively following the Supreme Court’s mandates handed down on December 7, 2017, in the case filed against NEC by Liberty Party. The Elections body legal team answered saying that the court’s mandates are being gradually followed.
Senators up Capitol Hill went at loggerhead during heated argument at the public hearing. The ruling Unity Party (UP) and opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) are due to meet at a presidential runoff election scheduled by the NEC for 26 December. Some Senators argued that NEC was proceeding wrongly by setting date for the runoff election, insisting that such responsibility squarely rests at the feet of the Liberian Legislature. But others argued that the Supreme Court’s ruling instructed NEC to set date for the runoff, but in conferment of the 1986 Liberian Constitution.
The national Chairman of the governing Unity Party (UP), Mr. Wilmot J.M. Paye, has expressed dismay over the credibility of the head of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Chairman Jerome George Korkoya, to conduct a free, fair and transparent runoff election on December 26. He made the statement over the weekend in an interview with a team of reporters at his Unity Party headquarters in Congo Town during a one-day mini youth retreat organized by the UP National Youth Congress. Chairman Paye said even though UP does not have the appointing and dismissal power to remove the NEC Chairman, but as a political party, it is deeply concerned over the poor performance and inability of Cllr. Korkoya to lead the affairs of the Presidential runoff election.
Liberia’s ruling Unity Party has asked the Supreme Court to further delay the presidential runoff, which its candidate Vice President Joseph Boakai will contest on December 26. The party filed a request late Thursday in which it called for the country’s legislature to be given responsibility for determining the election date. The move came just hours after Boakai was dealt a setback, when a major opposition party announced it would back his rival, former football star George Weah. “We request that the recent ruling of the Supreme Court be reviewed and should include that the NEC chairman and the Executive Director be disqualified from participating in or having anything to do with the run-off elections,” the legal filing said.
The December 26 date for the runoff of the 2017 presidential elections might be altered by the Legislature as the lawmakers have vowed to punish authorities of the National Elections Commission (NEC) for “usurping legislative function when the commission unilaterally set the runoff date without the their approval.” On Tuesday, December 12, NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoya and the Board of Commissioners announced December 26 as the date for the runoff election after the stay order was lifted by the Supreme Court. The Legislature, as the first branch of government, has the authority to make laws, make representation and exercise oversight. The Legislature also signs resolutions to make laws and the joint resolution of the Legislature is to propose constitutional amendments. This resolution and other resolutions require a two-thirds affirmative vote in each house, and are not submitted to the President.
Liberia will hold a delayed presidential run-off vote on December 26, electoral officials have said. Tthe National Elections Commission (NEC) made the announcement in a press briefing on Tuesday, saying official campaigning must end by December 24. “We call on the two political parties in the run-off election … to go about their campaign in a peaceful manner,” said Jerome Korkoya, NEC chairman. A run-off was originally scheduled for last month between George Weah, an international football star-turned-politician, and Vice President Joseph Boakai.
Liberia’s Supreme Court told the electoral commission to proceed with organizing the final round of presidential elections that was initially scheduled Nov. 7 but put on hold to probe allegations of fraud during the first round. The runoff should go ahead, Justice Philip Banks said in the ruling Thursday in the capital, Monrovia. The ruling ends weeks of uncertainty over the electoral process in a country that emerged from a protracted civil war in 2003. The runoff will be contested by former soccer star George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change and Vice President Joseph Boakai of the ruling Unity Party. Weah got 38 percent of votes in the first round on Oct. 10, while Boakai came second with 29 percent of ballots cast. The Supreme Court on Nov. 1 halted preparations for the second round to hear complaints lodged by presidential candidate Charles Brumskine, who came third as leader of the Liberty Party. Brumskine was joined by the Unity Party in his call for a rerun of the election, saying it was marred by fraud and irregularities. Brumskine also questioned the professionalism of Liberia’s electoral commission, demanding its commissioners be fired.
Public concern on whether the Supreme Court will allow either a runoff or rerun of the October 10 presidential and legislative elections, is expected to be settled today in a judgment by the Full Bench of the Supreme Court. If the justices’ decision goes the way of a runoff, it means President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will have the opportunity to transfer power to either her Vice President, Joseph Boakai of the ruling Unity Party (UP), or Senator George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) by January 2018. If the decision goes to the contrary, that is a rerun, it will mean that President Sirleaf will find it difficult to transition, and maybe the Supreme Court will come up with an alternative.
It is widely believed that the pending judgment by the Supreme Court could likely demand the National Elections Commission (NEC) to clean up the Final Registration Roll (FRR). This is important because instead of a re-run of the October 10 presidential and legislative elections that have been challenged on grounds that the entire voters’ roll was marred with fraud and irregularities, their clean up could restore confidence in the electoral system. The court is expected to rule in the matter on Thursday, December 7. Both Liberty Party (LP) and the ruling Unity Party (UP) have repeatedly accused the Commission of tampering with the FRR on the basis that people whose names were not found on it the FRR were recorded on sheets across and allowed to vote during the October 10 representative and presidential elections.
Liberia’s Supreme Court on Friday began hearings of an appeal filed by two political parties claiming fraud in the first round of the presidential election and calling for a re-run of the vote. “We remain optimistic till the final ruling is given. This is the rule of law and the Supreme Court is the final decision-making body.” Darius Dillon, a leader of the Liberty party, told journalists. Liberty’s veteran opposition leader Charles Brumskine along with incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai of the Unity party brought the demand to Liberia’s top court on Monday after the country’s electoral commission ruled that irregularities recorded during voting did not affect the overall result.
The parties of the Liberian presidential candidates who finished second and third in October 10 elections have lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court calling for a re-run of the vote. Incumbent Vice-President Joseph Boakai and veteran opposition leader Charles Brumskine brought the demand to Liberia’s highest legal body on Monday after the country’s electoral commission ruled that irregularities recorded during voting did not affect the overall result. Legal documents filed by Boakai’s Unity Party and Brumskine’s Liberty Party said alleged errors linked to the voter register and ballot paper serial numbers amounted to “the violation of the constitution and laws of Liberia”. The filing added that “the pervasiveness of the fraud and gross irregularities throughout the electoral process warrant a re-run of the elections” – an unprecedented demand to start the entire process of choosing a new president from scratch.
Liberia’s opposition Liberty Party will take its claims of election fraud to the Supreme Court this week after the electoral commission ruled on Friday that the first-round Oct. 10 vote was fair, it said on Sunday.n The appeal will likely set the West African country’s presidential election back well into December, and could result in the first round poll being re-run, which could delay the first democratic transfer of power in over 70 years by months. Ex football star George Weah was meant to face Vice-President Joseph Boakai in a run-off vote in early November to determine who will replace Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Liberia’s electoral commission said on Monday that claims of fraud brought by a presidential candidate in last month’s election did not have sufficient evidence, delivering a preliminary conclusion of an investigation. Former footballer George Weah was initially set to face Vice-President Joseph Boakai to determine who will replace Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. But third-place finisher Charles Brumskine and his Liberty Party contested the outcome of the first round, claiming gross irregularities, and the Supreme Court this month suspended the run-off until the electoral commission can investigate Brumskine’s claim.
The U.S. embassy in Liberia on Wednesday defended the credibility of last month’s presidential election there, amid allegations of irregularities and fraud that have delayed a run-off poll. First-round winner George Weah, a former international football star, was initially set to face the runner-up, Vice-President Joseph Boakai, last week to determine who will replace current term-limited President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. But the third-place finisher, Charles Brumskine, contested the outcome of the first round, claiming gross irregularities had occurred and accusing NEC officials of fraud, an allegation the body denies.
Liberian presidential candidate George Weah’s party said on Wednesday that it will respect the decision to delay the country’s planned run-off vote, but called for the electoral process to be put back on course in a “timely” manner. The former international football star was supposed to face Vice President Joseph Boakai in the second round of presidential elections in the English-speaking West African country on Tuesday. But the runoff vote, which was meant to represent Liberia’s only democratic transfer of power in seven decades, was halted on Monday by the Supreme Court over an opposition party complaint of electoral fraud.
Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Tuesday said democracy in the West African country was being threatened, a day after the Supreme Court put a presidential runoff on hold over fraud allegations. Former footballer George Weah was initially set to face Vice-President Joseph Boakai on Tuesday to determine who will replace the term-limited Nobel Peace Prize laureate. A successful vote would be Liberia’s first democratic transfer of power in more than seven decades. But on Monday, the Supreme Court ordered the elections commission to fully examine allegations levelled by Charles Brumskine, who finished third in last month’s first round poll.
The Liberian party of the 1995 world soccer player of the year, George Weah, said it’s concerned that a political crisis could ensue if the Supreme Court decides to annul the outcome of the first round of the presidential election that left the country facing a runoff. Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change raised the matter after the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a runoff may not go ahead until a charge over alleged irregularities in the Oct. 10 vote is heard. The second round was scheduled for Tuesday and would’ve been contested between Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai, of the ruling Unity Party, because neither candidate secured the majority needed for an outright victory to succeed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. “We are concerned about attempts by certain members of the Supreme Court’s bench to mis- or wrongfully interpret our constitution, with the view of now creating a constitutional crisis,” CDC Chairman Nathaniel McGill said by phone. “The election should proceed, that’s what we hope for.”
The Supreme Court of Liberia on Monday halted a presidential runoff election scheduled for Tuesday, delaying the first democratic transfer of power in the West African country in recent political history. In a unanimous ruling, the court ordered the National Elections Commission to spend more time investigating a complaint from Charles Brumskine, the third-place finisher in the Oct. 10 election, that the vote had been marred by fraud. The former soccer star George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai, the top two vote-getters in the election, were supposed to compete in the runoff, having finished with 38 percent and 29 percent of the vote. To win outright, a candidate needed more than 50 percent.
Liberians nervously awaited a Supreme Court ruling on Monday on the timing of a runoff presidential vote after the process was thrown into uncertainty by fraud allegations. The court is expected to rule at 10am (1000 GMT) whether to set a new date or to prolong the vote indefinitely while a legal complaint by the opposition Liberty Party is resolved. The runoff between former international footballer George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and Vice President Joseph Boakai of the governing Unity Party was originally set for November 7. But Liberty Party candidate Charles Brumskine, who came third in the first round on October 10, claims fraud and irregularities tainted the results, leading the Supreme Court to put a temporary stay on preparations.
Liberia’s Supreme Court will rule Monday on a petition asking to delay the runoff presidential election after a complaint said the National Election Commission failed to investigate claims of irregularities in the first round of the vote to replace Africa’s first elected female president. All activity to prepare for Tuesday’s runoff has been halted until the court’s decision. A delay of the vote is almost certain, as the electoral commission has said it would be hard to meet deadlines now. The court heard arguments Friday. Charles Brumskine, the Liberty Party candidate who placed third, has asked the court to grant an Oct. 27 petition to halt the runoff vote until the claims of irregularities are investigated. He argued before the packed court that the Oct. 10 first round was marked by fraud. His party petitioned the court to compel the election commission to investigate the complaints.
Liberia’s supreme court has delayed until Friday a hearing on the country’s disputed presidential election, increasing the likelihood that an impending runoff vote will be delayed. A court spokesman told AFP late Wednesday that the hearing, which will challenge the electoral commission’s handling of the first round of the elections on October 10, would not take place on Thursday as planned for procedural reasons. It will now take place on Friday at 2pm (1400 GMT), the spokesman said on Thursday. Former international footballer George Weah and incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai face each other in the November 7 runoff. Neither gained more than 50 percent of votes in the first round.
West African leaders held mediation talks Wednesday with all sides involved in Liberia’s disputed election, following a Supreme Court announcement it would summon the country’s electoral commission to explain alleged fraud and irregularities. Liberia’s top court has reviewed a legal complaint backed by three political parties and found “constitutional issues raised” by the electoral commission’s actions during an October 10 presidential election, it said on Tuesday. A Supreme Court hearing on the issue is set for Thursday at 9am (0900 GMT). The legal complaint was lodged by the opposition Liberty Party but has the backing of the ruling Unity Party and its presidential candidate, incumbent Vice-President Joseph Boakai.
Liberia’s Supreme Court has stayed next week’s presidential run-off election until it considers a challenge to first round results by a losing candidate who has alleged fraud. Third-place finisher Charles Brumskine’s Liberty Party challenged the results of last month’s vote, which set up a Nov. 7 run-off between former soccer star George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai. The election is meant to usher in Liberia’s first democratic transition since 1944 after long periods of military rule and a civil war that ended in 2003. In a writ issued late on Tuesday, the court instructed Liberty Party and the National Elections Commission to file briefs by Thursday at the latest. It was unclear if the court would rule before Nov. 7.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s spokesman on Monday denied allegations from her own party that she meddled in this month’s presidential election. At a news conference on Sunday, leaders from Johnson Sirleaf’s Unity Party accused the president of holding inappropriate private meetings with election magistrates before the Oct. 10 vote. They accused her of showing greed “in its most callous form” with the “intent of disrupting the fragile peace of Liberia”, and backed a challenge to the first round results brought by other parties before the country’s election commission. Unity Party’s candidate, Vice President Joseph Boakai, placed runner-up in the first-round with 28.8 percent of the vote to front-runner George Weah’s 38.4 percent, setting up a second round run-off scheduled for Nov. 7.
Liberia’s ruling party, whose candidate finished runner-up in the first round of this month’s presidential election, said on Sunday it would back a legal challenge to the result, accusing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of interfering in the vote. The extraordinary charge by Unity Party against Johnson Sirleaf, one of its own members, throws into question a second round run-off scheduled for Nov. 7 between its candidate Vice President Joseph Boakai and front-runner George Weah. Unity Party said in a statement that the Oct. 10 poll, meant to usher in Liberia’s first democratic transition of power since 1944, was “characterised by massive systematic irregularities and fraud”. The statement, read to reporters by Unity Party Chairman Wilmont Paye, said Johnson Sirleaf had acted inappropriately by meeting privately with elections magistrates before the vote.
“REMEMBER TO VOTE” wrote Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC) on its Facebook page on Wednesday, a daily reminder to Liberians that the final stage of selecting their president is fast approaching. “REMEMBER NOT TO CHEAT AGAIN NEC!” came the swift reply in the comments. Former international footballer George Weah and incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai face a runoff for Liberia’s presidency on November 7, a crucial test of the country’s stability. But complaints about the conduct of the first round of voting on October 10 are drowning out their efforts to campaign in the small west African nation. As Weah and Boakai mount last-minute pushes for funding and support at home and abroad, Liberians are preoccupied with another political process playing out at the electoral commission and potentially in the country’s courts.