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AP Photo/George Osodi
Still in campaign mode.
PAUSE

Liberia’s run-off election has been delayed by an electoral fraud case

By Yomi Kazeem

Liberians will have to wait a little longer to choose their next president.

More than two million Liberians went to the polls last month to pick a new leader with president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf set to leave office. But the elections resulted in a run-off, slated for Nov. 7, between  former soccer star George Weah and current vice president Joseph Boakai. Neither candidate was able to garner the 50% majority of votes required to take office in the first round.

However, preparations for the run-off elections have now been put on hold as Liberia’s Supreme Court’s is set to rule on allegations of electoral fraud by Charles Brumskine, the presidential candidate who finished third. With the court scheduled to rule on the matter on Monday (Nov. 6)—a day before the initial date for the run-off—Henry Flomo, Liberia’s electoral commission spokesman says the election “will definitely be delayed.”

Despite his illustrious soccer career (he’s the only African to win the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards), Weah isn’t new to Liberian politics. Indeed, the run-off elections won’t be his first shot at the presidency. Back in 2005, Weah lost in a presidential runoff to Sirleaf despite winning more votes in the first round. He contested, and lost again, in 2011 as vice presidential candidate on the Winston Tubman ticket. In 2014, his political fortunes at the polls turned as he won a seat in the Senate.

Boakai, vice-president since 2006, will be hoping to counter Weah’s popularity with his political experience having also served as minister of agriculture in the 1980s. Boakai’s campaign has so far focused on amplifying the incumbent government’s achievement in economy and security.