Liberia: Ruling party petitions for poll delay | AFP

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.

On December 7, the Supreme Court ruled that the final round — already delayed since November 7 due to a fraud complaint by the Unity Party — could go ahead, so long as National Elections Commission (NEC) carried out a “clean up” of the national voter register.

A technical team from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) arrived in Liberia on December 12 with the aim of assisting with removing anomalies from the roll.

But the Unity Party now says it is unhappy with the wording of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the issue of the voter roll, which it considers ambiguous.

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