Chief Justice: “NEC Will Be Blamed for Runoff Delay”

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NEC Lawyers arrival at the court

By Abednego Davis and David S. Menjor

The Supreme Court will on Monday November 6 render their opinion as to whether or not they will issue the writ of Prohibition compelling the National Elections Commission (NEC) to stop all activities leading to the conduct of the runoff election, pending the outcome of the Liberty part’s complaint of election irregularities, frauds and violation of the constitutional rights of several Liberians during the October 10 presidential and legislative elections.

At the much anticipated hearing on Friday, November 3 at the Supreme Court that was held to determine whether or not the Supreme Court should issue the Writ of Prohibition on the conduct of the runoff election, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor said the public should not blame the court for delay in the electoral process.

Ruling into the request for the writ of prohibition has been scheduled for Monday Nov. 6.

Justice Korkpor’s clarification was made when the five Justices heard argument by both the lawyers of the Liberty Party that is seeking the writ and the National Elections Commission.

“NEC will be responsible for any delay in the holding of the runoff election if they do not speed up in the hearing and determination of the LP’s complaints,” Kporkpor said, adding that, “Unless NEC hears the LP’s complaint and their decision is challenged and an appeal is taken by the LP, before the Supreme Court can hear the merit and demerit of the complaint.”

Before that, Justice Kporkpor told the crowed court that they were there on Friday to decide the merit and demerit of the complaint because the matter was pending before the NEC for determination.

Meanwhile, Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh who currently serves as the chamber Justice, palaced on Tuesday October 31 a temporarily stay order the conduct of the November 7 runoff pending the hearing of the matter by the full bench (five Justices).

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

  • David S. Menjor is a Liberian journalist whose work, mainly in the print media has given so much meaning to the world of balanced and credible mass communication. David is married and interestingly he is also knowledgeable in the area of education since he has received some primary teacher training from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). David, after leaving Radio Five, a broadcast media outlet, in 2016, he took on the challenge to venture into the print media affairs with the Dailly Observer Newspaper. Since then he has created his own enviable space. He is a student at the University of Liberia.

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David S. Menjor is a Liberian journalist whose work, mainly in the print media has given so much meaning to the world of balanced and credible mass communication. David is married and interestingly he is also knowledgeable in the area of education since he has received some primary teacher training from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). David, after leaving Radio Five, a broadcast media outlet, in 2016, he took on the challenge to venture into the print media affairs with the Dailly Observer Newspaper. Since then he has created his own enviable space. He is a student at the University of Liberia.

21 COMMENTS

  1. “Dry face” double – speak, that is!

    Constitutionally, the required time span for the dynamics of Complainant LP, NEC and Supreme Court to play out presupposes that the run – off will definitely be delayed. Counselor Brumskine knew that before filing his motion in a presidential race he, unquestionably, lost. No wonder many say this is a calculated conspiracy to artificially create one big constitutional crisis; and, as usual, neither principles nor democratic values are the motivating factors.

  2. No Mr. Chief Justice, DO NOT USE THE NEC FOR YOUR SCAPEGOAT. The truth is that there was no legitimate, moral, statutory, nor constitutional, basis for the Supreme Court to have ordered the halting of NECś election activities and in effect the preparation of the runoff, when in fact, the NEC had not yet disposed of the complaint brought before it -the NEC! Hence, it is not the NEC that will be blamed for the delay of the runoff. It is the Supreme Court that will be blamed for the runoff.

    For as Cllr. Musa Dean rightly submitted: “The Constitution requires that when a complaint is made to the NEC it should be disposed of by the NEC before coming to the attention of Supreme Court.”

    So WHY Mr. Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, did Justice in Chambers Kabineh Janeh and the Supreme Court en banc VIOLATE what is required by and authorized by the Constitution; which is waiting until the NEC disposes of the complaint?

    BUT INSTEAD, THE SUPREME COURT, IN TOTAL CONTRAVENTION AND VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION, ORDERED THE HALTING OF ALL NEC ELECTION ACTIVITIES! INCLUDING THE RUNOFF!! AND THEN YOU WANT THE PUBLIC TO BLAME THE NEC, WHEN YOU PEOPLE ON THE SUPREME COURT BENCH DELIBERATELY CHOSE TO DELAY THE RUNOFF, SIMPLY BECAUSE OF A COMPLAINT FROM THE FRUSTRATED SERIAL LOSER CHARLES BRUMSKINE.

  3. “Our freedoms are vanishing. If you do not get active to take a stand now against all that is wrong while we still can, then maybe one of your children may elect to do so in the future, when it will be far more riskier — and much, much harder.”
    ― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

  4. No you idiot Korkpor. The delay is to be solely blamed on the Supreme Court. NEC has thirty days to hear the complaint and the runoff date of set by law. The law does not require NEC to adjudicate all complaints before proceeding with the runoff. You people will be responsible for any chaos you cause in Liberia.

  5. No you idiot Korkpor. The delay is to be solely blamed on the Supreme Court. NEC has thirty days to hear the complaint and the runoff date is set by law. The law does not require NEC to adjudicate all complaints before proceeding with the runoff. You people will be responsible for any chaos you cause in Liberia.

  6. This is the kind of mortal wound usually inflicted by unprincipled Africans on their own countries, which foreign spies exploit to escalate internal commotion. For example, first, they inform their home country that this rotten mango, African nation, is coming to fall, and, second they shake the tree hard to make assurance doubly sure, geniuses.

    No wonder every sub – region of our continent has suffered one form of turmoil or another, and starving swollen – belly babies become staples on nighttime TV abroad. Indeed, it fits perfectly into long -held assumptions and racist stereotyping.

    For heaven’s sake, when would we learn, folks?

  7. Mr. Editor,

    A compaint was filed before NEC and the matter according to its lawyers was being heard. The matter had not been disposed of and neither was any date set by NEC for disposition of the issues yet, NEC was proceeding at pace to conduct the runoff.

    Further, judging from comments coming from Korkoya dismissing the complaints outrightly before they were even heard and describing them as fabrications by the parties must have driven them to seek recourse to the Supreme Court to halt the runoff. Why because the elections were indeed characterized by fraud.

    Moreover, assertions by Korkoya that it is the Supreme Court’s duty to schedule a new date for elections shows very clearly that he does not know what he is doing simply because the NEC is or should be an independent body whose remit is to set Elections dates, guidelines and procedures etc.

    Sadly the NEC has since lost its independence and become subject to manipulations by President Sirleaf who appears hellbent on installing her chosen successor even by foul means.

    For example nowhere in the world are transparent, free, fair and democratic elections conducted in the absence of a credible Voters Roll. And President Sirleaf was well aware that the Voters Registration exercise was marred by fraud.

    An official in the office of the President was even caught red-handed producing VR cards in the privacy of his home. There were others as well who were nabbed in such illegal activities including a NEC official caught doing cross-border Registration.

    Then came the exhibition of the registry during which it was discovered that thousands of names had been omitted from the Voters list. Tried as hard as they could bringing in experts from Ghana and later from Kenya, NEC still could not produce a competent Voters Roll.

    And do not forget that the longest serving and most experienced of the lot, NEC Commissioner Jonathan Weedor had prior to then issued a press release to the public firstly rebutting Korkoya’s lies that the thousands of omissions from the Voters Roll was inconsequential and warned that going into elections without a credible Voters Roll was a recipe for chaos. He was paid no mind.

    As a matter of fact, according to sources, President Sirleaf was visibly angry with Commissioner Weedor for taking such a public stance. She never cared apparently or as we are now seeing she had a hidden interest and that was to unduly influence the outcome for personal selfish reasons.

    To sum it up, Charles Brumskine, for all what he may or may not be in the eyes of many, took the right step to challenge the Elections results because the elections were indeed characterized by fraud. And it was the most patriotic and honorable thing to do. I can imagine he did so to the chagrin of ethnicists, rabble rousers and of course to the motley gang-bang of musketeers who are now issuing threats of violence.

    We shall not bow to their threats of violence and we are not taking their threats lightly for it will be foolhardy to do so considering our bitter experience of the past. The Nathaniel Mcgills and Mulbah Morlu of this world should be informed that there will be no shortage of the will and capacity nationally and on the part of the sub-region to resist and stop the CDC Sabu and auxiliary militia units dead in their tracks.

    President Sirleaf has outplayed her hand to the extent that her colleagues from the sub-region would openly and publicly upbraid her by calling on her to “stay above the fray”. This simply means that her colleagues have finally seen through her.

    What happens next is not hers to decide. The Constitution of Liberia is explicitly clear in Article 64 on succession. It reads thus:

    “Whenever the office of the President and of the Vice President shall become vacant by reason of removal, death, resignation, inability or other disability of the President and the Vice-President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be sworn in as Acting President until the holding of elections to fill the vacancies so created. Should the Speaker be legally incapable or otherwise unable to assume the office of Acting President, then the same shall devolve upon the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. In any further line of descent, the office shall devolve in order upon the Deputy Speaker and members of the Cabinet in the order of precedence as established by law. The Elections Commission shall within ninety(90) days conduct elections for a new President.

    Thus, there should no fear on the part of anyone about an interim arrangement. Getting the Voters Roll in order may even require redoing the VR exercise again to ensure that this time thousands of people are not disenfranchised because their names are not captured on the Voters Roll.

    At this point, it is important to clarify the issue of the addendum list which Korkoya had recourse to during the October 10 elections. The addendum list is made up of registered Voters whose national duties and assignments may not allow them the chance/opportunity to vote at where they registered. That list is restricted to NEC poll workers and security officers and they must be registered Voters.

    Finally we must not allow sentiments to becloud our reasoning. It is NEC that take blame for such a situation and by extension President Sirleaf who allowed so many transgressions of our electoral laws for personal gain.

    • Thanks Mr. John H. T. Stewart! You have totally explained and outlined the issue so very well. NEC and President Sirleaf are absolutely responsible for the mess regarding these October 10th elections.

  8. Mr. Stewart is wrong. NEC’s Press Conference was in reponse to LP’s and the Supreme Court’s Stay Order. NEC had obvious been conducting its own investigation in response to the complaints and the notion that nothing was being done is just untrue. The fact is, no law prohibits the Elections Commission from moving on with preparations for the rest of the process while a complaint is being heard and so that preparation was also ongoing. Secondly, having issued a stay order, NEC’s Chairman is saying that it is now in the hands of the Supreme COurt to remove that Order for the process to continue. Hopefully, the decision on Monday will allow that and move power back to NEC. The ploy to install a Interim Goernment which is what Mr. JOhn Stewart suggest here has already failed and if it is imposed, will be resisted by all Liberians. A hint to the wise is sufficient. Quit the nonsense and let’s get on to doing whats right for our people.

    • You couldn’t have it any better, Mr. Sunday. I have been an ardent supporter of Mr. John H. T. Stewart since I began reading his position statements during the TRC days. I can now state here openly that, I, along with other Liberians might have been misled into agreeing to most of the positions taking by John and like-minded fellow Commissioners, or the entire TRC process must be scrapped or reexamined.

      For Mr. Stewart to be willfully calling for an interim government in Liberia because of individual poll workers personal actions that no evidence can show was sanctioned by NEC or Chairman Kokoyah, is a dangerous precedent being put forth to change the course of history in Liberia. Moreover, it’s meant to cause trouble, and meet he and his ilks personal agenda: to subvert the democratic will of the masses in Liberia. Mr. John H. T. Stewart actions in his writing has single-handily undermined the entire TRC report, in my view.

      • Article 64 which I quoted verbatim in entirety is succinctly clear and nowhere does it provide for an interim government as you guys so ignorantly declare. There were indeed gross irregularities which even George Weah has admitted to but ignorantly contends that such be overlooked because according to him he had been cheated in the past and had not protested and taken his case to court.

        NEC Chairman Korkoya is corrupt, inept, inefficient and incapable of overseeing elections in Liberia or anywhere and the just ended elections only exposed his worthlessness even more. Brumskine’s taking the NEC to Court was an act of patriotism and besides it was the proper and legal thing to do. He did not put on display in Monrovia, goon squads to intimidate NEC and the Court into submission unlike the CDC Chairman Nathaniel McGill who threatened the use of violence against the Justices Yuoh and Banks and put his goon squads on public display.

        On the TRC report, I am not surprised that you are calling it to be scrapped. This is just what President Sirleaf has been attempting to do, however unsuccessfully, since the report was published and released. Not even Hilary Clinton, Riva Levinson and others in her employ have been successful to have the TRC report scrapped. So you must be delusionary to suggest that the TRC report should be scrapped or reexamined.

        It is not going away and it shall not be scrapped and it shall continue to haunt you. The just ended trial and conviction of Jungle Jabbah in the U.S. should tell you that there is no hiding place from justice.

        • Quick question sir n I sincerely apologize for my limitations…. besides the recommendation to ban Ellen from public office for 30 years, what other recommendations are there jin the TRC Report that could affect Ellen when enforced?

          • Quick question sir n I sincerely apologize for my limitations…. besides the recommendation to ban Ellen from public office for 30 years, what other recommendations are there in the TRC Report that could affect Ellen when enforced?

        • Mr. Stewart, you write as if you are the only educated person on this platform. Do you have to openly state your preference of an interim government before we know that you are in favor of one or suggesting one in code?

          Here you are blowing your dog whistles for for the justices to overturn the people’s will by highlighting the names of certain justices in the name of the CDC Chairman, Hon. Nathaniel F. McGill press statements. Know this Mr. Stewart, no amount of screaming at top of your lungs or the tip of your pen or through others will your call for the complete annulment of the October 10th election be carried out.

          Mr. Stewart, you have not been neutral in these elections from the beginning. You have chosen a side like most Liberians, your right to do so. So what does it mean if President Sirleaf and cohort preferred a particular candidate in the presidential election? Like you have, it’s their sole rights and responsibilities to constitutionally do so, even though she hasn’t. Do you have any proof she has preferred Sen. George Weah? She explicitly said she’s supporting the bid of her vice president. What if the alleged meeting at her house was to instruct NEC to cheat on her VP’s behalf? You think because the CDC is staying above the fray so it’s preferred by the outgoing president? Why should the CDC make unnecessary noise to instruct a runoff that it’s poised to win?

          I will repeat what I said earlier, that your actions not only undermined your credibility as a former TRC Commissioner, they called into question the entire TRC report and those of other Commissioners like Cllr. Verdier and Massa Washington who held similar positions as yours on that commission. Therefore the TRC report needs to be reexamined or scrapped.

          Mr. Stewart, your rightful place is in politics, and not on any TRC Commission. A place you have now rightfully occupied. Thanks for showing us the truth radical you are. Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us.

  9. How can Mr. Stewart claim,”…as a matter of fact” and in the same breath says “sources” without the facts? Mr. Stewart, your bias is glaringly simplistic. You said Liberia is a sovereign state, yet you hope that countries in the region should or could intervene to settle our dispute. Your smartest move was not insinuating that “America will come” as in the old days. I’m sure you are aware that Trump would have called you a JOKER. The very people with whom you have never identified with in almost 200 years are now your darlings. They know better. Mr. Stewart, the WILL of the people will prevail. You can take that to the Bank.

  10. THE FAILURE OF THIS LIBERIAN SUPREME COURT IS A TOTAL INCOMPETENT FIASCO!! I TOLD LIBERIANS TIME AND AGAIN, THAT THIS WORTHLESS SUPREME COURT WILL BE THE CAUSE OF VIOLENCE IN ELECTORAL PROCESS! CHARLES BRUMSKINE IS A SEASONED LAWYER AND LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR! HE KNOW THE LAW BETTER! THE SUPREME COURT POSTPONING OF THE ELECTORAL RUN-OFF PROCESS BECAUSE OF LP’S WRONGFUL FILING OF THEIR CASE, SHOULD HAVE BEEN DENIED, REFUSED TO BE HEARD BY THE COURT AND REMANDED TO THE NEC, WITHOUT DELAYING THE RUN-OFF ELECTION! BRUMSKINE’S LP FAILED TO FILE THEWIR COMPLAINT WITHIN THE RIGHT AND PROPER VENUE!

  11. Simplistically,
    Idiotic, claims by the Chief Justice korkpor.
    Is it not what is referred as “duty before complaint”? Which ruling on Monday then, when NEC has not made a determination into Cllr. Brumskine allegations.
    Wonder no more why the senate wanted to impeach them!

  12. Swaray,
    Easy, easy. The use of polemics is inappropriate! Irrespective of how you may disagree with any individual, desist from the use of provocative words.

    Good day fellow Liberian.

  13. Bro Stewart if you are saying that you are not calling for interim arrangement should the situation avail itself, can you explain the word “acting” in your quoted portion of he constitution? ““Whenever the office of the President and of the Vice President shall become vacant by reason of removal, death, resignation, inability or other disability of the President and the Vice-President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be sworn in as Acting President until the holding of elections to fill the vacancies so created. Should the Speaker be legally incapable or otherwise unable to assume the office of Acting President, then the same shall devolve upon the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. In any further line of descent,…”” Brother Stewart in your explicit short-sightedness or intent to deceive, it is not only that the office of the President will be vacant, but the entire lower house of representatives which the speaker and the deputy speaker are members of will be out if this process drags on. As such the Legislature cannot function because the constitution requires both house of the legislature to remain and conduct the order of the legislative business of the state. If the house of Reps is dissolved due to the expiration of its tenure how will the senate function when the constitution requires both houses to sit in concurrence.
    Thanks,
    Edwin N. Dennis

    • How can the entire lower House of Representatives become vacant when their respective term of office do not expire simultaneously. Some Representatives for example, came to office thru by-elections to begin a fresh term of office. Further, this is only a temporary arrangement as the framers of the Constitution made provisions that elections be held within sixty (60) as of the swearing-in of the President Pro Tempore of the Constitution. Yes of course, in response to your question this provision in Article 64 explicitly addresses any form or manner Do you, Mr. Dennis, with such demonstrated shallow understanding of the Constitution think or believe you can impeach or belittle the purpose and intent of the framers of the Constitution?

      You may call me short sighted with intent to deceive or what ever. That will not help your case and will not change the wording of the provisions of Article 64 which is written in clear and concise terms. In a real sense it is the Constitution, especially Article 64 which you are attempting to impeach with such shallow baseless arguments that lack any substance.

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