Supreme Court considers fate of Liberia presidential runoff

Marsha Scott
November 7, 2017

If the decision to be reached by the National Elections Commission does not meet the consent of the Liberty Party Standard bearer, Counselor Charles Brumskine, he will file an appeal to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court of Liberia has granted the opposition Liberty Party's petition for a Writ of Prohibition on the November 7 Runoff Election.

Late Monday, he said the Liberty Party doesn't have confidence in the ability of the National Elections Commission to partially investigate its complaint, and would soon be asking its leaders to step aside.

It says the poll can not proceed until the electoral commission has "urgently and expeditiously" investigated the claims.

Liberia's Supreme Court has delayed a presidential runoff indefinitely, a day before the vote was due to take place.

George Weah, a former soccer player, and Vice President Joseph Boakai [websites] were scheduled to run for Liberia's first democratic transfer of power in over 70 years.

Liberians went to the polls earlier in October to elect a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who stepped down after 12 years in office.

A polling agent counts the ballots for the Liberian presidential election at a polling station in Monrovia, Liberia October 10, 2017.

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Liberia is no stranger to disputed election results: Weah's CDC party challenged but ultimately accepted the results of presidential votes in 2005 and 2011.

"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", Fomunyoh said of the Economic Community of West African States spearheading mediation.

Still, a growing chorus of parties have expressed doubt in the vote, including Boakai's ruling Unity Party, which in an extraordinary statement last week accused Johnson Sirleaf, one of its own members, of trying to influence the vote.

In its decision, the Supreme Court relied heavily on judicial interpretation of the phrase "valid votes cast", as cited in Article 83 (b) of the Constitution.

"Until the rule of law is respected in Liberia, holding a runoff or any election is irrelevant".

Brumskine came in third place in the last vote. However, observers from the Carter centre and the E.U say they saw no major problems with the first-round vote.

The president responded by denying that the meetings were inappropriate.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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