Liberia’s apex court has reserved ruling on the challenge to the presidential run-off election for Monday after listening to submissions by aspirant and leader of the Liberty Party, Charles Brumskine.
Brumskine, who finished third in the 10 October poll, petitioned the court alleging fraud in the conduct of the election. His party said widespread fraud had marred the outcome of the process.
The court earlier this week ordered the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to halt preparations for the run-off scheduled for 7 November. The NEC stated that it will respect the decision of the court adding that its preparations had been affected by the ruling.
The elections body had scheduled a run-off between former football star George Weah and incumbent Vice-President Joseph Nyuma Boakai.
Boakai’s ruling Unity Party announced it was backing the legal challenge. It accused President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, one of its own members, of interfering in the 10 October vote by holding private meetings with election magistrates.
Sirleaf, who has governed for the last 12 years, denied the meetings were inappropriate. International observers like the European Union and the Carter Centre have said that they saw no major problems with the first round vote.
“No amount of fear tactics and intimidation will stop the Liberian people from realizing the change they truly desire,” Weah said in a message posted on his official Twitter handle. The former world footballer of the year polled 38.4% in the first round as against Boakai’s 28.8%. The run-off between the two became necessary because none of them had the fifty percent plus required.
Monday’s ruling will largely determine whether the run-off will be held. Already the African Union and regional political bloc, ECOWAS, have begun mediation efforts to forestall any crisis in the West African country.
Winner of the run-off will replace Sirleaf, Africa’s first democratically elected female president.