Lawsuits Await NEC

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NEC headquarters in Monrovia

The Collaborating Political Parties has announced pending legal action against the National Election Commission for its blatant refusal to clean up the Final Voter Roll in keeping with the Supreme Court ruling of 2017 and the June 2020 Resolution by the Legislature.

The CPP, which is a conglomeration of four opposition political parties, also accused NEC of engaging in a voter roll update that is characterized by fraud at every level which is only piling up the messiness of the voter roll. 

“In view of the above, the legal team of the CPP will on Wednesday September 23, 2020 file a series of legal actions against the NEC. 

“The four political leaders (Alexander B. Cummings, Benoni W. Urey, Nyonblee Karnga Lawrwnce and Joseph N. Boakai), members of the CPP Legislative Caucus, candidates for the CPP in the December 8 senatorial election and leaders of the four constituent parties will escort the legal team to the court,” CPP said in a press release.

The court in its ruling on Bill of Exception filed by the opposition Liberty Party in cohort with the governing ruling Unity Party in 2017, ruled that the precondition for the then runoff election was the mandatory cleaning up of the Final Register Roll (FRR).

According to the Court 2017 ruling, the cleaning up of the FRR is to ensure that NEC is in compliance with the provision of the law. The Court also ordered NEC to make available in published hard copies the FRR to all Election Magistrates and polling places across the country in accordance with law prior to the conduct of the runoff election.

But that was never done as NEC went on conducting the 2017 general election. The pending CPP legal actions comes less than three weeks since NEC started its much anticipated Voter Rolls Update exercise and already, a process which has been overshadowed by voters trucking.

At the start of the Voter Roll Update, the CPP complained to the NEC of its decision to kick-start the process with the adoption of a Mobile Process Exercise, which they argued was being carried out without any reference to the other parties who are competing in the upcoming December 8 Senatorial Midterm elections.

In said communication, the CPP accused the elections commission headed by Cllr. Davidetta Browne Lansanah “of dangerously treading a path of unilateralism, in collusion with the ruling CDC-led Administration.”

Earlier, the elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) has expressed concerns over the unclean voter’s roll in the system of the National Elections Commission. The ECC argued that the continued use of that voter rolls by NEC will be a recipe for political conflict, instability and will undermine the integrity of the results.

“Any further delay in conducting the election could create a Constitutional crisis because the tenure of fifteen of the thirty senators would have expired and the law requires that each county is represented by two senators,” the ECC said in a release.

Meanwhile, NEC has said it is yet to reach all of the designated VRC centers due to logistical problem and bad roads,

“Members of the press, while we have managed to get the process underway, we continue to face isolated challenges. As I said in my last briefing, this is the first time the VRU exercise is being done in the heart of the rainy season. As such, the challenges of delivering the materials within some of the difficult counties have persisted. In Gbarpolu County, for example, materials destined for Kongba are still behind the river (in Mandingo Town) because the two bridges there are broken. The VRU staff are actually walking to their destinations. Also in Maryland County, the teams are yet to fully deploy in District #3 (Barrobo) because the vehicle for that district arrived from Monrovia with some of the materials wet.

Notwithstanding these challenges, the NEC is doing everything humanly possible to deliver those materials in the shortest possible time, and we assure all Liberians that the VRU will be conducted in every center for the full three (3) days, “NEC said in a press release posted on it Facebook page.

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