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.
The men are vying to replace President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Laureate and Africa’s first elected female leader who is stepping down after a constitutional maximum of two six-year terms.
Boakai was due to face the top-placing candidate – former international footballer George Weah – in a runoff round of voting on November 7, but the Supreme Court put a temporary stay on the poll while the National Elections Commission (NEC) heard the parties’ complaints.