General News of Wednesday, 6 December 2017
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed his belief that Liberia can complete a successful transition of government despite the issues that have marred the country’s recent elections.
Following the October 10 election that ended with none of the candidates able to amass the over 50 percent of votes quota needed to become President, the two frontrunners Ex-football star George Weah, and Vice-President Joseph Boakai, were set to face off in a run-off on November 7.
However, after allegations of fraud were made by Charles Brumskine, who finished third in the polls, the country’s Supreme Court put the run-off on hold until the Electoral Commission completes their investigation of the claims.
The National Elections Commission (NEC), has since ended their probe, but the Supreme Court is now hearing an appeal lodged by the Liberty Party and the Unity Party against the outcome of the investigation, with a ruling expected on Thursday.
The investigation by the National Elections Commission concluded that, irregularities did not affect the outcome of the first round, a conclusion being disputed by the two parties.
With the country on the verge of its first peaceful handover of power from one democratically elected leader to another in 73 years, President Akufo-Addo called on the Supreme Court to help usher in a new era for the West African country.
“We believe work that has been done to stabilize Liberia by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been very solid. I’m anticipating that at the end of the day, Liberia’s institutions, the Supreme Court and the Electoral Commission will be up to the task and be able to shepherd the country to a successful transition,” he said at the Flagstaff House after the new Liberian Ambassador to Ghana Madam Genevieve Kennedy called on him.
“She [Johnson Sirleaf] told me when we met that this is the first time in about 70 years that there has been a successful transition from a democratically elected government to another. That will be a big thing, it will be to her credit. Our prayers are with you and things will work out.”
‘Turmoil and hope’
Liberia, which was founded by freed US slaves in the 19th Century, has not had a smooth transfer of power in 73 years.
Ms Sirleaf took office in 2006, after her predecessor, Charles Taylor, was forced out of office by rebels in 2003, ending a long civil war.
Taylor is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence in the UK for war crimes related to the conflict in neighbouring Sierra Leone.
Mr. Weah, 51, has chosen Taylor’s ex-wife Jewel Howard Taylor as his running mate.