Liberia's presidential run-off has been postponed indefinitely

Supreme Court considers fate of Liberia presidential runoff

More than two million Liberians went to the polls last month to pick a new leader with president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf set to leave office.

"The NEC (National Elections Commission) is stopped and prohibited from conducting the run off election until the complaint filed by the petitions is investigated by the NEC", the Supreme Court ruling said.

Liberia's Supreme Court on Monday ruled to halt a presidential run-off vote scheduled for Tuesday until the electoral commission investigates allegations of fraud in the October 10 first round. Garnering 9.7 percent of the votes, the Liberty Party candidate ranked third after the initial vote, eliminating him from the subsequent run-off ballot.

In a writ issued late on Tuesday, Liberia's Supreme Court instructed the Liberty Party of third-placed Charles Brumskine, who made the complaint, and the National Elections Commission, to file briefs by Thursday.

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According to a FrontPage Africa report, citing Article 50 of the Constitution, the tenures of outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Vice President Joseph Boakai expires on January 22, 2018.

Runoff candidates, former global footballer George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and Vice President Joseph Boakai of the governing Unity Party, were originally scheduled to face each other on November 7. His complaint was based on allegation that the first round of the presidential and legislative elections were marred by fraud and irregularities.

Worldwide donors have poured billions of dollars into Liberia since Sirleaf was elected in 2005, and are eager to see completed what will be the country's first democratic transition in seven decades.

"Hopefully ECOWAS can continue to make its presence felt, to urge the Liberian political leaders to play by the rules and not to do anything that would undermine the wishes of the Liberian people", Fomunyoh said of the Economic Community of West African States spearheading mediation.

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Wilmot Paye, the chairman of Unity Party, said his party's leadership is glad because the responsibility of upholding democracy rests with the Supreme Court.

Over the past week, armed guards were deployed to the Supreme Court and NEC but some Liberians have expressed relief that the court was taking the fraud allegations seriously.

The joint complaint has also implicated Sirleaf, as Boakai and Brumskine accuse her of "interference" by meeting polling officials at her residence before the vote.

Johnson Sirleaf denied the meetings were inappropriate.

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