Coalition for Democratic Change Standard Bearer George Weah denies that he is seeking the return of convicted former president Charles Taylor to Liberia. In a Voice of America interview Monday, Weah says reports about him facilitating Taylor’s return are “propaganda” and “fallacy.”
The former chief of investigations for the United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone, Alan White, recently told VOA that Weah, if elected, wants to bring Taylor back to Liberia. “It is incredulous,” White notes, saying anyone would attempt “to bring back a convicted war criminal that would be a threat not only to Liberia, but also to the entire region.”
Weah’s running mate is Taylor’s ex-wife, Jewel Howard Taylor. White claims that she talked openly on a campaign stop about bringing back her husband’s policies. Former President Taylor is serving a 50-year prison sentence in Britain, after having been found guilty by the U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone of war crimes and crimes against humanity for aiding rebels during Sierra Leone’s 11-year civil war that ended in 2002.
Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai of the governing Unity Party are set to participate in a runoff, but third-place finisher Charles Brumskine filed a legal challenge against results of the first round of elections conducted on October 10, 2017, alleging widespread fraud and irregularities.
Liberia’s Chief Justice Francis Saye Korkpor said the electoral commission had acted “wrongly and illegally” in proceeding with the runoff, as there was still a complaint pending about the first round vote in October.
The runoff presidential election is being suspended indefinitely, pending outcome of ongoing hearings into complaints filed before the NEC. The candidates are competing to replace Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is stepping aside after two terms. Sirleaf’s current term is due to end in January. A successful vote would be Liberia’s first democratic transfer of power in over 70 years.-VOA