Liberia Supreme Court dismisses voter fraud allegations, approves run-off

Reuters

Reuters

George Weah waves to the crowd in Monrovia on December 6, 2017.

The Supreme Court of Liberia has finally ruled out that there will be "No Rerun" citing the lack of sufficient evidence, and further ordered the National Elections Commission to make all preparations that will accelerate the runoff election.

Associate Justice Philip Banks read the ruling on behalf of the five-man Supreme Court Bench, according to local media. The ruling ends weeks of uncertainty over the electoral process in a country that emerged from a protracted civil war in 2003.

The runoff election was delayed after the court issued a stay order on October 31 following a request by Liberty Party requesting that NEC desist from planning a runoff until the party's claims of fraud were investigated.

Previously, Liberia's Supreme Court had suspended the presidential run-off that was expected to take place November 7 between former footballer George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai pending the NEC's completion of the investigation into the Liberty Party's complaints. Weah got 38 percent of votes in the first round on October 10, while Boakai came second with 29 percent of ballots cast.

The NEC denies claims of fraud and gross irregularities, but it says there were challenges on Election Day that can not overturn the outcome of the polls.

While irregularities did occur at some voting stations, the complainants didn't prove that similar incidents took place throughout the country, Banks said.

However, as precondition for the run-off election, the court ordered NEC to fully comply with the standards of publications of the voter register known as the Final Register Roll (FRR) in accordance with law.

Voters are choosing a replacement for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female leader and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

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