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Liberia waits for critical Supreme Court ruling


Analysts fear process may drag until January, 2018


By John Eche


In a season where the judiciary is being called in to help sort out election-related wrangling across Africa, Liberia’s Supreme Court would on Monday decide whether to uphold the outcome of the disputed presidential elections held last month or not.

The apex court of the West African nation had reserved ruling on the poll challenge for Monday after listening to submissions by one of the presidential aspirants and leader of the Liberty Party, Charles Brumskine.

Brumskine who finished third in the October 10 poll petitioned the court alleging that there was significant fraud in the conduct of the poll. His party said widespread fraud had marred the outcome of the process.

The court had also earlier this week ordered the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to halt preparations for a poll run-off scheduled for November 7  to which the commission had responded, saying that it will respect the decision of the court adding that its preparations had been affected by the ruling.

With these developments, analysts fear that the process of concluding the polls process may yet drag into January 2018, along with its implications on the economy of a country that does not boast too much resources ordinarily.

Ex-footballer, George Oppong Weah had been declared as the front-runner in the disputed polls by the elections commission, with Vice President Joseph Boakai in second place.

Weah, who has sought the highest office in the land since 2005, could however not secure the mandatory 50 percent +1 votes required to be declared winner after the first ballot.

The elections are being held following the completion of the maximum two terms in office that the nation’s constitution permits incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who herself only came into office after the end of the Liberian civil war.

The Kenyan judiciary had similarly been called in to adjudicate on the lingering political dispute in that country ahead of last month’s run-off poll, whose conduct and outcome has also been further disputed.


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