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.
The court has also ordered the electoral commission to “stay any and all actions in respect of the pending run-off elections scheduled for November 7, 2017”, a decision that looks likely to delay the vote.
Boakai is due to face former international footballer George Weah in the runoff, which was called after no single candidate won a majority of votes on October 10 – though Weah topped the poll.
Attempting to head off the crisis, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf hosted Guinean President Alpha Conde and Togolese leader Faure Gnassingbe along with Weah and Boakai to “listen to the various concerns and bring their expertise to bear on the table with a view to resolving those issues,” a statement from her office said.