JOHANNESBURG, November 8 – Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says democracy in the West African country is under threat, this shortly after the Supreme Court put a presidential run-off on hold over fraud allegations, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
“Democracy is only as strong as its weakest link and at these moments, our democracy is under assault. Our country’s reputation is under assault, our economy is under stress,” Johnson Sirleaf said in a radio address
Tuesday was meant to see a run-off election between former footballer George Weah and Vice-President Joseph Boakai to determine who will replace the term-limited Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
Had the election gone ahead, this would have been Liberia’s first democratic transfer of power in more than seven decades.
However, Liberia’s Supreme Court on Monday ordered the run-off postponed so that it could further investigate claims of fraud made by Charles Brumskine, who finished third in last month’s first-round poll.
This means that the run-off could be delayed by weeks or even that their first round could be re-run despite international observers and the National Elections Commission (NEC) reporting that the poll was mostly free and fair.
Brumskine, however, asserts gross irregularities and accuses NEC officials of fraud, charges the body denies.
Additionally, his charges have been supported by none other than Sirleaf’s ruling Unity Party who claimed the president had attempted to influence the vote.