Liberia court authorises presidential runoff with conditions

Liberia’s Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the electoral commission to proceed with a presidential runoff delayed for a month by fraud complaints, but said the national voter register must be corrected of anomalies first.

“The stay order issued on November 6, 2017… against the NEC (National Elections Commission) is hereby lifted and the NEC is ordered to proceed with the scheduling of the runoff elections in accordance with the constitution,” the court said in a 4-1 ruling in Monrovia.

The ruling Unity Party and opposition Liberty Party had alleged irregularities and fraud tainted the results of the first round of voting on October 10 and called for a total re-run of elections.

That request was denied by the court which said it was “not convinced that burden of proof was met”, thereby paving the way for the planned runoff between former international footballer George Weah and current Vice-President Joseph Boakai to move forward as planned.

However, judges ordered a clean-up of the much criticised voter registration roll be conducted before the second round, which was called after no single candidate gained more than 50 percent of the vote on October 10.

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