Liberian court says presidential run-off can go ahead



Liberia's Supreme Court has ruled that evidence of fraud in the country's October election was insufficient for a re-run, paving the way for a second round run-off between ex-soccer star George Weah and Vice-President Joseph Boakai.

"The court holds that there is no evidence to show that the violations were in such magnitude to warrant setting aside the results of the October 10 presidential and representatives elections and ordering a re-run", Banks said.

Opposition Liberty Party (LP) and the ruling Unity Party (UP) lodged the appeal after the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC) dismissed their petitions for lack of evidence.

The Liberty Party candidate came in third.

The NEC denies claims of fraud and gross irregularities, but it says there were challenges on Election Day that can not overturn the outcome of the polls.

Four of the five judges on the Supreme Court voted to have the run-off.

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The runoff should go ahead, Justice Philip Banks said in the ruling Thursday in the capital, Monrovia.

The FRR is to be available in published hard copies to all Election Magistrates and polling places across the country in accordance with law prior to the conduct of the run-off election.

The Supreme Court also ordered that NEC prohibits from voting, anyone whose name is not found on the voter roll.

The apex court noted that the FRR is the only electoral document that speaks to the eligibility of voters.

The court also ordered NEC's chairman, Jerome Korkoya, and other staff of the commission to refrain from making public statements that may suggest bias in relation to complaints filed with the commission.

Previously, Liberia's Supreme Court had suspended the presidential run-off that was expected to take place November 7 between former footballer George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai pending the NEC's completion of the investigation into the Liberty Party's complaints.

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