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.
Brumskine and Boakai have accused incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of “interference” and of secretly supporting Weah over her own vice-president, claims she has strongly denied.
International donors have poured billions of dollars into Liberia since Sirleaf was elected in 2005, and are eager to see completed what will be the country’s first democratic transition in seven decades.
Some experts believe a short delay will not necessarily derail the process, but will require delicate handling.