Liberia: Ruling Party Challenges Election Results

Liberia's ruling party is challenging the results of the first round of presidential elections in which its candidate was the runner-up.

The Unity Party has accused incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, one of its own members, of "interfering" with the results of the October 10 election, saying she acted inappropriately by meeting privately election magistrates before the vote.

A statement released by the Unity Party Sunday along with two other parties said the elections were "characterized by massive systematic irregularities and fraud," adding that Sirleaf's meeting "clearly amounted to interference with the electoral process and has no legal basis or justification whatsoever."

The parties said they would still take part in the runoff election scheduled for November 7, but that they hoped the court could rule before then.

Former footballer George Weah came in first in the October 10th elections, winning 38.4 percent of the vote � less than the simple majority needed to win outright. A runoff election was then scheduled between Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai, who won 28.8 percent of the vote.

The election, set to be Liberia's first democratic transition of power since 1944, will name a successor to Nobel Peace laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female elected head of state, who is stepping down after serving two six-year terms, as mandated by Liberia's constitution.

Source: Voice of America

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