Liberian court halts presidential run-off vote amid fraud probe

Senate Pro-Tempore Armah Z. Jallah

Senate Pro-Tempore Armah Z. Jallah

The Liberty Party, whose candidate Charles Brumskine came in third place, had appealed to the court to halt the runoff vote until the claims of irregularities are investigated.

These disputes would definintely disrupt the second-round vote scheduled to hold on November 7 to find a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; the country's first democratically elected leader after the civil war.

Vote scheduled for Tuesday delayed until voter fraud allegation by opposition party, which came third, is resolved.

On October 31, the five-judge Supreme Court ordered the National Elections Commission (NEC) to temporarily suspend election preparations - a decision NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoya described as making November 7 a date it "does not look possible to meet".

Liberia's Supreme Court on Monday ruled to halt a presidential run-off vote scheduled for Tuesday until the electoral commission investigates allegations of fraud in the October 10 first round.

Brumskine last week told The Associated Press last week he looks forward to a rerun of the October vote, in which 20 candidates vied to replace Nobel Peace Prize victor Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Ex-football star, George Weah, and incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai, who were the two front runners in the first round, were competing in the run-off.

Weah topped the 10 October poll with 38.4 percent of ballots cast to Boakai's 28.8 percent, while Brumskine scored 9.6 percent.

Following the court's ruling, Sanvee lauded Unity Party, the All Liberian Party, the Alternative National Congress, and other political actors who stood in solidarity with his party.

All ears and eyes of Liberians and foreign observers now in Liberia to observe the ongoing elections are expected focus on tomorrow's ruling by the Supreme Court of Liberia to hear the final verdict from Justice in Chambers on the case filed by Cllr.

"We think the will of the Liberian people was clear in that election that is it favoured the CDC", Phil Tarpeh Dixon, a CDC lawyer, told AFP.

The president responded by denying that the meetings were inappropriate.

In parallel, Boakai and Brumskine have accused Sirleaf of "interfering" in the elections by meeting polling officials at her residence ahead of the vote, though her press secretary has said the talks were "consistent with her constitutional role". "It is also not a petition to determine whether they can be an interim arrangement", he said.

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