Supreme Court delays vote runoff amid fraud allegations

Vote scheduled for Tuesday delayed until voter fraud allegation by opposition party, which came third, is resolved.

Women hold banners encouraging peace during a peace mediation meeting held by ECOWAS for Liberia''s presidential run-off election, in the Sinkor neighbourhood of Monrovia
Women hold banners encouraging peace during a peace mediation meeting [File: James Giahyue/Reuters]

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

The court on Monday announced the decision, saying the election would not go ahead until a legal complaint alleging voter fraud and irregularities by the opposition Liberty Party is resolved.

The National Elections Commission will now need to consider allegations of voter fraud.

The runoff between former international footballer George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai had been set for Tuesday.

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.

The vote was meant to mark the first time since 1944 that a democratically elected leader would hand over power to another elected leader in the country.

Twenty candidates ran for the country’s top job, including the Liberty Party’s Charles Brumskine who was behind the appeal to stop the runoff. Brumskine came in third place in the last vote.

Although Weah and Boakai won most votes, neither scored more than the 50 percent needed to become president.

Many Liberians view the country with political class with suspicion.

But lawyer Sayma Syrenius Cephus told Al Jazeera a constitutional crisis was unlikely.

“The petition is not to determine a run or a rerun. It is also not a petition to determine whether they can be an interim arrangement,” he said.

The National Elections Commission has until November 22 to conclude its investigation.

Source: Al Jazeera