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Liberia court delays vote hearing till Friday

Members of Liberia’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) check the results at the tally center in the capital Monrovia following the country’s presidential and legislatives elections on October 12, 2017. The first official results from the presidential and legislative elections which took place on October 10, 2017, are expected from the National Elections Commission (NEC), which has already suggested that turnout was high for Liberia’s first democratic transfer of power in seven decades. The vote is seen as a key test of the country’s stability after the 12-year tenure of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female president. / AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO

Liberia’s supreme court has delayed until Friday a hearing on the country’s disputed presidential election, increasing the likelihood that an impending runoff vote will be delayed.

A court spokesman told AFP late Wednesday that the hearing, which will give the country’s electoral commission a chance to defend its handling of the first round of the elections on October 10, would not take place on Thursday as planned for procedural reasons.

Former international footballer George Weah and incumbent Vice-President Joseph Boakai face each other in the November 7 runoff.

Neither gained more than 50 percent of votes in the first round.

Boakai has backed a legal complaint lodged by the opposition Liberty Party alleging “massive fraud and irregularities”, but has said he is still participating in the runoff.

The Supreme Court found on Tuesday the country’s electoral commission had a case to answer springing from the Liberty Party complaint.

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