The U.S. embassy in Liberia on Wednesday defended the credibility of last month’s presidential election there, amid allegations of irregularities and fraud that have delayed a run-off poll. First-round winner George Weah, a former international football star, was initially set to face the runner-up, Vice-President Joseph Boakai, last week to determine who will replace current term-limited President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. But the third-place finisher, Charles Brumskine, contested the outcome of the first round, claiming gross irregularities had occurred and accusing NEC officials of fraud, an allegation the body denies.
“No accredited Liberian, regional, or international observation group suggested that the cumulative anomalies observed reflect systemic issues sufficient to undermine the fundamental integrity of the electoral process,” the U.S. embassy said in a statement.
Liberia’s Supreme Court ordered the elections commission to fully examine Brumskine’s allegations last week, a decision likely to push back the run-off date by weeks and even creates the possibility of the first round being re-run.
A number of first-round candidates, including Boakai, have publicly backed Brumskine’s challenge to the results and echoed his fraud allegations.