Announcement of final results of the run-off Liberia’s tightly contested presidential race has been delayed due to irregularities in votes tallied, the Electoral Commission said on Friday.
The final results of the November 14 votes were expected to be announced on Friday, but the head of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) of Liberia, Davidetta Brown Lansanah, said several cases of irregularities were discovered during tallying of results from the last polling centers, either due to unusually high voter turnout, number of valid votes exceeding the number of registered voters in polling centers, or updated polling center results.
According to Mrs Lansanah, these include 20 cases of quarantined polling places in Grand Kru County, where results tallied exceeded the number of registered voters.
“These cases are current being investigated and the results therefrom will be announced upon the completion of these investigations,” she said during the daily press briefing at the headquarters of the electoral commission.
The elections chief also announced the sanctioning of a run-off of election in one polling place in Lower Nimba County, where the number of valid votes was found to exceed the number of voters registered by 15 votes.
The final national tally in the run-off as of Friday November 17 still gives opposition leader Joseph Boakai a slim lead, with 814, 212 total votes, constituting 50.89%, ahead of incumbent President George Weah’s 785, 778 total votes, constituting 49.11%.
These results, according to the electoral commissioner, represents 99.58% of the total results, with the remaining votes from 25 polling places representing 0.42 percent.
Mrs Lansanah defended delay in announcing the results, which has kept Liberians in anxiety, amid rumours of plot to rig the outcome.
Mrs Lansanah noted that they were working to ensure that they release the correct data.
She also dismissed “rumours” that President Weah had cladestine meeting with some electoral commissioners overnight.
“Quality control is necessary especially when you have a lot of inputs and want to make sure that you get it right,” she said during questions and answer sessions.