Boakai faces former international footballer George Weah in the December 26 vote after a delay of seven weeks caused by legal complaints lodged by the vice-president’s Unity Party against the National Elections Commission (NEC).
Weah topped in the first round of voting on October 10 with 38.4 per cent against Boakai’s 28.8 per cent triggering a run-off since neither of them made it past the 50 per cent needed to win outright.
According to Boakai, he “hoped” that although unsuccessful, his Supreme Court challenges had achieved the required changes by an electoral commission he accused of fraud and incompetence.
“That’s the responsibility of the NEC and a national duty, and we pray that they make the election free, fair and credible,” he added.
The Supreme Court had ordered the NEC to clean anomalies from the voter register after problems with voting ID were registered in October.
Boakai’s attempt to stay the run-off and hand responsibility for a new date to parliament was dismissed Thursday by the country’s top court. The request to remove the NEC Chairman was also dismissed.
Boakai has served at outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for 12 years and he has to tread a thin line of showcasing the government’s record while presenting change to a population that is fed up with a dire economy and endemic corruption.
“I have said that we will make sure that no student of this country will sit on the floor to learn… and make sure that we create jobs immediately,” he said as he made a final appeal to voters.
Whoever wins the vote which will mark Liberia’s first democratic transition of power since 1944 faces an economy battered by slumped commodity prices for its main exports rubber and iron ore, and a rapidly depreciating currency.