Liberian court says presidential run-off can go ahead

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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.

But the court said Thursday those violations were not sufficient to overturn the vote's outcome.

The runoff election was delayed after the court issued a stay order on October 31 following a request by Liberty Party requesting that NEC desist from planning a runoff until the party's claims of fraud were investigated.

LP led by Mr Charles Walker Brumskine, who came third in the October 10 elections with less than 10 percent of the votes, took the lead in protesting the election results.

In its 4-1 ruling, the Supreme Court acknowledged that the first round of presidential and legislative elections were, to some extent, characterised by fraud, irregularities and disregard of the New Elections Law.

The parties are calling for a rerun of the election.

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Associate Justice Philip Banks read the ruling on behalf of the five-man Supreme Court Bench, according to local media. The National Elections Commission has been ordered to clean up its voter roll.

In the next couple of days, NEC is expected to evaluate when it can comply with the court's decisions and announce a date for the runoff election.

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

He said, the Supreme Court can not speculate that since it was proven that fraud and irregularities occurred at some polling places, it occurred Nationwide.

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.

That request was denied by the court which said it was "not convinced that burden of proof was met", thereby paving the way for the planned runoff between former worldwide footballer George Weah and current Vice-President Joseph Boakai to move forward.

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