Liberia's Election Body Dismisses Voting Fraud Complaints

A woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Monrovia during presidential and legislative elections on Oct. 10, 2017. 

Photographer: ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images

Liberia’s election commission dismissed charges that the first round of the country’s presidential polls were marred by fraud.

The complaints were brought by Charles Brumskine, the Liberty Party candidate, who was eliminated from the race to succeed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf after winning 9.7 percent of the vote in the Oct. 10 polls. The round was won by former soccer star George Weah, with Vice President Joseph Boakai of the ruling Unity Party coming second.

Weah and Boakai were suppose to face one another in a runoff earlier this month because neither secured the majority needed for an outright victory. Boakai came out in support of Brumskine’s complaints and accused Johnson Sirleaf of having improper meetings with election officials.

The Liberty Party didn’t offer sufficient evidence to prove the accusations, Muana Ville, chief dispute hearing officer of the National Elections Commission, said Monday in the capital, Monrovia.

“Fraud is not to be presumed, but must be proven,” Ville said.

The Liberty Party will appeal the ruling, Hilton Powo, a legal representative, said on Monday. The election commission’s board of commissioners will hear the appeal and have to conclude the matter before Nov. 30.

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