JOHANNESBURG, November 2 – Liberia’s Supreme Court has ordered the country’s Liberty Party, and the Nation Elections Commission to file briefs on Thursday, after it stayed next week’s presidential run-off on allegations of fraud, Reuters has reported.
The run-off between former soccer star George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai was meant to take place next Tuesday.
But last month’s results were challenged by third-place finisher Charles Brumskine’s Liberty Party after he alleged fraud.
High hopes had been pinned on the run-off election as it would mark Liberia’s first democratic transition since 1944 after periods of military rule and civil war that ended in 2003.
Now it appears uncertain if the court will make a ruling before the November 7 run-off elections.
“This is a big step in the right direction,” Liberty Party Chairman Benjamin Sanvee said in a statement. “Thankfully, the Court recognises the gravity of the issues, and has taken action in defence of the law and democracy.”
The legal challenge has been backed by Boakai’s ruling Unity Party which accused President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the party leader, earlier in the week of interfering in the October 10 vote by holding private meetings with election magistrates.
But Johnson, Africa’s first female president, denied the meetings were inappropriate and her claims have been backed by the European Union and the US Carter Centre, which asserted they saw no problems with the first round of voting.