The Hearing Office of Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC) has dismissed complaints of electoral fraud that has stalled the run-off presidential elections.
According to local media, the officer in charge, Mr. Muana Ville, trashed the complaints on the ground that the party did not substantiate the allegation of fraud.
Ville added that the complaints also fell short of proving that the alleged irregularities had an impact on the overall results of the October 10 presidential and House of Representatives elections.
The complaints were filed by opposition figure and third-place finisher in the first round, Mr Charles Brumskine of Liberty Party (LP).
Brumskine had alleged massive fraud and irregularities in the general elections, calling for a re-run.
The ruling Unity Party represented by incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai, who came second in the first round with 29 per cent, later joined forces with LP.
On Oct. 31, the country’s Supreme Court granted Brumskine’s request for a stay order on the run-off presidential election earlier slated for Nov. 7.
The run-off will see first-round top finisher and football legend, Mr George Weah with 38 per cent, slug it out with Boakai to succeed outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
“On the day of election, voters arrived at almost all of the polling places before queue controllers and arranged their own queues, making it difficult to redirect to their proper roll.
“The defendants testified to difficulties that impeded the timely opening of polls; some due to the overflowing of rivers where polling staffs had to carry materials in canoes and on their heads in long distances.
“The hearing officer is not convinced that these challenges alluded to by the defendants during the hearing of the complaint amount to fraud,” Ville said.
LP and its co-complainants were said to have faulted the ruling and announced their decision to file an appeal before the NEC Board of Commissioners.