Liberia’s Supreme Court on Wednesday put on hold a presidential run-off election scheduled for November 7 to assess fraud claims leveled by a candidate who lost in the first round.
Charles Brumskine, the candidate of the opposition Liberty Party who came third in the October 10 election, demanded an investigation based on claims that the polls were marred by mass irregularities and fraud.
The investigation will put on hold a run-off between former soccer star George Weah, 51, who leads the main opposition Coalition for Democratic Change, and Vice President Joseph Boakai, 72, of the ruling Unity Party.
Weah won the first round of the vote with 38.4 per cent, followed by Boakai with 29 per cent, according to results released by the electoral commission.
The Unity Party and two smaller opposition parties said earlier this week they support Brumskine’s legal challenge.
It remained unclear on Wednesday by what date the Supreme Court expects to make a ruling.
As President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf prepares to step down after 12 years in power, the polls are expected to mark the first time in 73 years that a democratically elected president peacefully hands over power to a successor chosen by the people.
Liberia remains one of the poorest countries in the world and continues to struggle with the aftermath of the 2013-15 Ebola crisis, which killed more than 4,000 people.
It is also still dealing with the fallout of a 14-year civil war that ended in 2003 after having claimed more than 250,000 lives and displacing about a million people.