Supreme Court Affirm Runoff Elections, Orders NEC To Make Preparations

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Liberia's Supreme Court has ruled that the electoral commission should proceed on the final round of the presidential election that was initially scheduled November 7 but put on hold to probe allegations of fraud during the first round.

The party claimed that the exercise was marred by massive irregularities and fraud, and thus fell short of the minimum standards of credibility.

The ruling Unity Party and opposition Liberty Party had alleged irregularities and fraud tainted the results of the first round of voting on Oct 10 and called for a total re-run of elections.

The Liberty Party, led by Cllr.

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

"Fraud may be established by not only directly but by inclusive circumstances which by their weight may constitute proof; from the facts and circumstances of the instant case, the 1st and 2nd appellant established by proof that fraudulent acts were perpetrated at a few polling centers during the Presidential and Representatives Elections conducted on October 10, 2017".

"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.

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"We do not believe that the evidence reached that threshold", Justice Banks asserted.

Justice Philip Banks said the judges found some evidence of irregularities, but not enough to hold another election altogether and the run-off between the top two candidates will go on as originally planned.

1 decision by the Supreme Court, dissenting judge, Justice Kabineh M. Ja'neh said it was deeply disconcerting that his colleagues had chose to ignore the glaring discrepancies and evidence of gross irregularities in electoral process leading up to and during the October polls.

It also mandated the electoral body to conduct a full cleanup of the FRR to have it comply wit the provision of the law.

NEC was also ordered not to allow anyone whose name is not in the FRR to vote during the runoff.

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.