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.
Articles about voting issues in The Republic of Liberia.
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.