Liberia Court Halts Presidential Election Run-Off To Hear Fraud Charges

Children bikes in Khayelitsha Cape Town South Africa- February 2017

Liberia's Supreme Court halts presidential poll run-off

Liberia's Supreme Court said it will summon the country's election commission on Thursday over a legal complaint backed by three political parties regarding the October 10 presidential election, potentially delaying a runoff vote.

The opposition Liberty Party of Counselor Charles Walker Brumskine, which came third in the October presidential poll, has asked for the Writ of Prohibition and a re-run of the October 10 Presidential and Legislative elections, citing "irregularities and fraud".

The election is meant to usher in Liberia's first democratic transition since 1944 after long periods of military rule and a civil war that ended in 2003.

The election commission also earlier announced a halt to all the deployment of voting materials across the country and training of poll workers until a final ruling from the court, but later voiced fears the November 7 runoff between the two highest vote-winners might not be possible due to the delay.

It was unclear if the court would rule before November 7.

Boakai is due to face former global footballer George Weah in the November 7 runoff vote, which was called after no single candidate won a majority of votes on October 10.

The Liberty Party along with two other losing collaborating parties complained to the commission of gross irregularities and demanded a rerun of the polls.

"Thankfully the court recognises the gravity of the issues, and has taken action in defence of the law and democracy", he said in a texted statement to AFP.

It accused President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, one of its own members, of interfering in the October 10 vote by holding private meetings with election magistrates before the October 10 poll.

In response, President Johnson Sirleaf said the allegations were "tantamount to hate speech and incited violence".

Morluba Morlu, a senior official from Weah's CDC party, said on Wednesday that he still expected the run-off to go ahead.

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