The Supreme Court will this afternoon hand down its much awaited decision into the prolonged 10 October 2017 elections disputes over the results which have left much uncertainty here.
Today’s decision will determine whether the nation will go for a re-un of the 10 October polls, or march ahead with the delayed run-off between the Coalition for Democratic Change or CDC and the ruling Unity Party or UP.
The runoff which had earlier been scheduled for November 7 was delayed following a preemptive prohibition obtained by the opposition Liberty Party or LP citing fraud and irregularities. A claim supported by the ruling UP, calling for the cleaning of the voters’ register and the recusal of the Chairman of the National Elections Commission or NEC.
NEC in its ruling, upheld by the Board of Commissioners dismissed the claims of massive fraud and irregularities during an appeal hearing sometime last month. But the LP took an exception to the ruling and filed an appeal before the superior court.
Arguments into the appeal were held last week Friday December 1, after which the court reserved its opinion till today. It is unlikely to predict what the Court may rule upon today, but eager Liberian voters have taken so much interest in the case from its outset up to its conclusion, though there have been mixed reactions in the public surrounding its impact on the much talked – about smooth transition of power between democratically elected civilian authorities for the first time in 74 years.
The protesting parties have been challenging the outcome of the 10 October polls through the NEC which conducted the polls and the Court, with one request by the LP which came third place, seeking a rerun of the entire polls, while its backer, the ruling UP which is designated for a runoff against the CDC, is requesting the cleansing of the final registration roll ahead of the runoff, among others.
The NEC denies claims of fraud and gross irregularities, but it says there were challenges on Election Day that cannot overturn the outcome of the polls. According to the assignment issued by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, 6 December, the final ruling at the High Court will be made at 3pm today.
The Court may be flooded today by members of the public, party representatives, local and international observers and media representatives as it has been since the case began here.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah