Election commission: Fraud probe to delay Liberia election run-off

Former soccer star George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai are competing to succeed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

FILE: Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Picture: AFP.

MONROVIA - A presidential election run-off in Liberia scheduled for Tuesday will be delayed by a Supreme Court fraud investigation, a spokesman for the National Elections Commission said.

Former soccer star George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai are competing to succeed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate whose election in 2005 helped draw a line under 14 years of civil war.

The vote was meant to mark Liberia’s first democratic transition of power since 1944, but the Supreme Court this week halted preparations while it examined an allegation by third-place finisher Charles Brumskine’s Liberty Party that the 10 October poll was marred by fraud.

Following arguments by the Liberty Party and the National Elections Commission, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor said that the court would give its decision on Monday at 10 am, one day before the scheduled poll.

“The election will definitely be delayed, but we don’t know for how long,” NEC spokesman Henry Flomo told Reuters. “The fact that the court will not rule until Monday is a delay.”

Weah, who became the first non-European to win the European soccer player of the year award in 1995, won the first round of voting with 38.4% to Boakai’s 28.8%. Brumskine won nearly 10%.