Less than two weeks before election day, Liberia’s Supreme Court says it is still considering the eligibility of the leading presidential candidates, including incumbent Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. The challenge to candidates’ eligibility comes from Liberia’s Movement for Progressive Change party and is based on the constitutional requirement that candidates be a resident in the country for 10 years prior to a vote.
That requirement was waived in the last election because the vote so closely followed the end of Liberia’s long civil war. But a constitutional referendum to reduce the requirement for this vote failed, so the party is asking the Supreme Court to declare ineligible six of the 16 candidates including President Johnson and her main challenger, Winston Tubman.
The Court was initially expected to rule on the challenge Tuesday, then pushed that back to Thursday, then issued a statement saying that justices are still deliberating.
Even though there are less two weeks to go before election day, voter Tamba Taylor says Liberia’s constitution should not be taken for granted.
“We need to give the court a chance to come up with a decision on this. Liberians always love to overlook things. But I think the court must come up with a decision. If the election will be postponed, let it be. But we must give the court a chance to take a stance on it,” he said.
Voter Wieh Bedell says there could be violence if so many of the leading opposition candidates are disqualified.