Liberia's ruling party alleges election irregularities

Reuters News
|
Posted: Oct 24, 2017 11:16 AM

MONROVIA (Reuters) - Liberia's ruling party, which came second in a presidential election first round on Oct. 10, has said the poll was marred by irregularities, following similar claims from other parties.

Vice President Joseph Boakai, a member of outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's Unity Party, won 28.8 percent of votes, versus 38.4 percent for former soccer star George Weah. A run-off vote between the two candidates is scheduled for Nov. 7.

International observers from the European Union, the Carter Center and the National Democratic Institute have said they saw no major problems with the vote, which was meant to usher in Liberia's first democratic transfer of power since 1944.

The Unity Party did not say whether it would petition the election committee for a re-run, as did the Liberty Party of the third-placed candidate, Charles Brumskine, over what it said were "gross irregularities and fraud".

"We too have been gathering reports ... pointing to some anomalies and electoral management inefficiencies, which prevented some of our supporters and citizens from exercising their constitutional rights to vote," the Unity Party said in a statement.

It said it was still deciding what action to take "consistent with the laws of Liberia".

Another candidate, Alexander Cummings of the Alternative National Congress, has also said there were problems during the polls, including the theft of ballot boxes, but his party has yet to file a complaint.

The communications director of the election commission, Henry Flomo, said the commission would respond to the Unity Party's concerns as quickly as possibly, adding that the party could challenge the commission's findings at the Supreme Court if it is not satisfied.

(Reporting By Alphonso Toweh; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Edward McAllister and Robin Pomeroy)