Liberia holds breath as court rules on presidential vote

2017-11-06 12:02
File: AP

File: AP

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

Monrovia - Liberians nervously awaited a Supreme Court ruling Monday on the timing of a runoff presidential vote after the process was thrown into uncertainty by fraud allegations.

The court is expected to rule at 10:00 whether to set a new date or to prolong the vote indefinitely while a legal complaint by the opposition Liberty Party is resolved.

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

But Liberty Party candidate Charles Brumskine, who came third in the first round on October 10, claims fraud and irregularities tainted the results, leading the Supreme Court to put a temporary stay on preparations.

Brumskine and Boakai have accused incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of "interference" and of secretly supporting Weah over her own vice-president, claims she has strongly denied.

Delicate handling 

International donors have poured billions of dollars into Liberia since Sirleaf was elected in 2005, and are eager to see completed what will be the country's first democratic transition in seven decades.

Some experts believe a short delay will not necessarily derail the process, but will require delicate handling.

"Even if there is a delay, as long as it does not undermine the integrity of the entire electoral process, then the Liberian people will still have an opportunity to make their voices heard," said Christopher Fomunyoh, regional director at the US-based National Democratic Institute, which sent observers to Liberia.

Fomunyoh also praised the actions of regional body the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), which sent a delegation to Liberia on Wednesday to bring all sides to the table and to warn a transition must go ahead.

Civil wars 

"Hopefully Ecowas can continue to make its presence felt, to urge the Liberian political leaders to play by the rules and not to do anything that would undermine the wishes of the Liberian people," he said.

The Supreme Court is generally respected in Liberia, but many want the potentially destabilising delay resolved sooner rather than later in a country which still has acute memories of back-to-back 1989-2003 civil wars.

"Liberians are people who do not want problems. Liberians, we have fought 14 years of civil war in this country and we have realised what they have done to us," security guard T Klon Maxwell told AFP.

Read more on:    liberia  |  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.