Liberian Supreme Courts stops Nov. 7th Runoff
Supreme Court of Liberia has stalled the runoff presidential election billed to hold next week Tuesday.
Local and international observers were already getting set for the runoff, primarily between former soccer star George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai but in a writ issued late on Tuesday, the Supreme court instructed Liberty Party and the National Elections Commission to file briefs by Thursday at the latest.
This followed a complaint logged before the Supreme Court by the third-place finisher Charles Brumskine’s Liberty Party challenging the results of the October vote, which set up a Nov. 7 run-off between Weah and Boakai.
The election would have ushered in Liberia’s first democratic transition since 1944 after long periods of military rule and a civil war that ended in 2003.
It is unclear if the court would rule before Nov. 7.
“This is a big step in the right direction,” Liberty Party Chairman Benjamin Sanvee said in a statement.
“Thankfully, the Supreme Court recognizes the gravity of the issues, and has taken action in defense of the law and democracy.”
On Monday, Boakai’s ruling Unity Party announced it was backing the legal challenge.
Sirleaf was accused by her own party that she had secret meetings with electoral officials. But Sirleaf’s spokesman on Monday said the meddling report is the figment of the imagination of its authors.
“The office of the president wishes to state unequivocally that these allegations are completely baseless and an unfortunate attempt by agents provocateurs to undermine Liberia’s democratic process,” Johnson Sirleaf’s spokesman, Jerolinmek Piah, told reporters, the background of the complaint at the Supreme court.
He said the president’s meetings with election officials were “consistent with her constitutional role to ensure that the process was supported.”
“These allegations fall in the category of hate speech and inciting language which should be condemned by all peace-loving Liberians,” a report quoted Piah added.