Liberian Supreme Court to Rule on Presidential Runoff

07 November, 2017, 00:09 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Supreme Court considers fate of Liberia presidential runoff

The Supreme Court ruling means that the runoff election, which should have been conducted on Tuesday, November 7, will be suspended until a date to be reached.

Charles Walker Brumskine, the standard bearer for Liberty Party who defended his party's argument on Friday, was not present at Monday's ruling.

Leading the challenge in court, Charles Brumskine, the candidate of the opposition Liberty Party, alleged the October 10 presidential election was fraught with fraud and irregularities and called on the National Elections Commission to suspend the second-round voting until its case has been heard.

The Supreme Court of Liberia has fixed Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 for ruling in an application seeking a re-run of the October 10 presidential election in the West African country.

The run-off, to be contested by former worldwide footballer George Weah for the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) against the incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai for the governing Unity Party, is therefore on ice-and no one knows for how long.

Chief Justice Francis Korkpor said the court would issue a decision on Monday at 10am (1000 GMT) over whether the runoff between former worldwide footballer George Weah and incumbent Vice-President Joseph Boakai would proceed.

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Known as Sleepy Joe for his propensity to fall asleep at public events, the second-in-command to Africa's first elected female leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is suddenly wide awake and unafraid to speak out. Back in 2005, Weah lost in a presidential runoff to Sirleaf despite winning more votes in the first round.

Global 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.

"Hopefully Ecowas can continue to make its presence felt, to urge the Liberian political leaders to play by the rules and not to do anything that would undermine the wishes of the Liberian people", he said.

Wilmot Paye, the chairman of Unity Party, said his party's leadership is glad because the responsibility of upholding democracy rests with the Supreme Court.

The court found on Monday that the NEC had acted contrary to the law in declaring Weah and Boakai the top two candidates following an October 10 first round election while a question mark over the validity of the votes was pending.

The court case comes at a tense moment in Liberian politics, as Brumskine and Boakai have both accused Sirleaf of "interference" in the elections and of secretly supporting Weah over her own vice-president, claims she has strongly denied.

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