International pressure ramps up over Liberia election delay

2017-11-16 09:51


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Monrovia - The European Union on Tuesday joined an international chorus urging Liberian political parties and its electoral commission to end "unnecessary delays" and elect a new president.

A second round of voting to choose a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was suspended indefinitely by the Supreme Court on October 31 pending the resolution of a fraud complaint lodged with the electoral commission.

Charles Brumskine, the Liberty Party candidate who came third in the first round of voting on October 10, filed the complaint, but was soon backed by the ruling Unity Party's candidate, Vice-President Joseph Boakai, who placed second.

The European Union delegation to Liberia, in a statement, said it would "encourage all concerned to work constructively and in good faith to conclude the current complaints process without unnecessary delay."

The runoff between former international footballer George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and Boakai was originally set for November 7.

Hearings into the party's grievances against the National Elections Commission (NEC) are ongoing with no decision expected for at least a week, after which the parties are expected to take the matter back to the Supreme Court.

International donors have poured billions of dollars into Liberia since Sirleaf was elected in 2005, and are nervously monitoring what should be the country's first democratic transition in seven decades.

"The Liberian people demonstrated their commitment to democracy through the high turnout of voters on October 10 who cast their ballots in a peaceful atmosphere," the EU statement added, calling for a process "which respects the will of the people."

Battered by back-to-back civil wars between 1989 and 2003 and an Ebola crisis that killed thousands between 2014 and 2016, the election is considered a crucial test of the west African nation's stability.

The EU declaration follows a joint statement from the African Union (AU), Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) and Liberia's United Nations peacekeeping mission which fired a warning shot to those calling for a re-run of the whole election, dragging the process into the new year.

"We cannot but express concern over the prospects of a significant delay in bringing the litigations to their closure, thereby thwarting completion of the election process before the constitutionally-mandated date of government transition in January 2018," the statement released on Friday said.

The joint statement expressed hope that "the collective will and aspirations of the Liberian people will not be compromised for individual ambitions," an apparent jab at the losing candidates.

Read more on:    ecowas  |  au  |  eu  |  ellen johnson sirleaf  |  liberia  |  liberia 2017 elections  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.