Liberia court says presidential runoff vote can go ahead

08 December, 2017, 09:47 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Reuters

Liberia's Supreme Court has ruled that evidence of fraud during October's first round of presidential elections was insufficient to merit a re-run.

The second-round vote between soccer star George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai had been put on hold last month after the Liberty Party alleged irregularities in the first round of voting on October 10.

Ex-soccer star George Weah will now face off against Vice-President Joseph Boakai in a vote that could mark Liberia's first peaceful transition of power in seven decades.

"The stay order issued on November 6, 2017. against the NEC (National Elections Commission) is hereby lifted and the NEC is ordered to proceed with the scheduling of the runoff elections in accordance with the constitution", Associate Justice Philip Banks said on behalf of the court in Monrovia.

"There were over 5,000 polling places, (so) to present evidence of just a few is problematic", the judge said.

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The electoral commission will now set a date for the delayed vote.

"The court holds that there is no evidence to show that the violations were in such magnitude to warrant setting aside the results of the October 10 presidential and representatives elections and ordering a re-run", Banks said.

The victor of round two will replace Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as leader of the small West African country, one of the world's poorest despite abundant diamonds and iron ore.

The Supreme Court also ordered that NEC prohibits from voting, anyone whose name is not found on the voter roll.

As a result the commission was prohibited from airing its views in public on "any matters which may grow out of the runoff election", Banks said.

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