Monrovia – Liberian presidential candidate George Weah’s party said on Wednesday that it will respect the decision to delay the country’s planned run-off vote, but called for the electoral process to be put back on course in a “timely” manner.
The former international football star was supposed to face Vice President Joseph Boakai in the second round of presidential elections in the English-speaking West African country on Tuesday.
But the runoff vote, which was meant to represent Liberia’s only democratic transfer of power in seven decades, was halted on Monday by the Supreme Court over an opposition party complaint of electoral fraud.
Commentators now expect the vote to be delayed for days or even weeks as the country’s electoral commission deals with the grievances.
“While we are respecting the decision of the Supreme Court… we call on all people, including the national election commission, to act timely to set back on course the electoral process until the runoff election is held,” said Ansu Koneh, a spokesperson for Weah’s Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
“Any attempt to highjack those provisions through political tricks and stealing will be rejected,” he said.
On Tuesday evening Weah called on his supporters to remain peaceful while the complaints process goes ahead, speaking to supporters at his headquarters.
“They used to say that we CDC (Weah’s party) are hooligans, we are troublemakers, and in 2017 we know who the real troublemakers are,” Weah told the crowd.
“We are aware of all their tactics, all of their provocations, we will not allow ourselves to be distracted,” he added.
Weah won 38.4 percent to Boakai’s 28.8 percent in the first round of voting on October 10.
The runoff was triggered as no single candidate gained more than 50% in the election, which was hailed as free and fair by international and domestic observers, despite some recorded delays.
Liberty Party presidential candidate Charles Brumskine, who came in third, then claimed ballot stuffing and false voter registration cards marred the election – allegations backed up by Boakai.
Liberia is no stranger to disputed election results: CDC challenged but ultimately accepted the results of presidential votes in 2005 and 2011.