The National Election Commissions (NEC) has certificated 12 senatorial contestants as winners of the December 20 Special Senatorial Election (NEC), held across the country.
The Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, certified the Senators on Saturday, January 3, 2015 at the James M. Fromoyan Conference Hall at the NEC headquarters.
Those certificated included Senators-elect Jewel Howard-Taylor of Bong County (13,672, or 35.2%), Jonathan L. Kaipay of Grand Bassa County (16,296 or 57.4%), Marshall A. Dennis of Grand Gedeh County (6,148 or 35.9%), Albert T. Chie of Grand Kru County (5,619 or 45.4%), Stephen J. H. Zargo of Lofa County (12,797 or 26.2%) and J. Gbloh-bo Brown of Maryland County (5,192 or 32.7%).
Others certified were Senators George M. Weah of Montserrado County (99,226 or 78.0%); Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County (37,932 or 66.6%); Francis S. Paye of Rivercess County (1,959 or 22.8%); Commany B. Wesseh of River Gee County (2,672 or 26.1%); Daniel Flomo Naatehn, Sr. of Gbapolu County (3,962 or 34.3%); and Milton J. Teahjay of SinoeCounty (6,772 or 50.1%).
However, according to the NEC boss, the Supreme Court, through Justice-in-Chambers Philip A.Z. Banks III, has issued a Writ of Prohibition to challenge the certification of three Senators who were announced winners by NEC.
The Writ of Prohibition, commonly called stay order from the Supreme Court, denied the certification of Cllr. Varney Gbotonambi Sherman of Grand Cape Mount; Atty. Morris Gato Saytumah of Bomi and Dr. Jim Womba Tornonlah of Margibi Counties. This means that if they are not certificated they wouldnot be inducted as Senators on Monday, January 12, 2015, as prescribed in the Constitution.
According to the Director of Communication at NEC, Mr. Joey Kennedy, the stay order was the first-time in the history of Liberia, for an aggrieved candidate, to not follow the protest procedure by complaining to the County Magistrate, and then to the Board of Commissioners of NEC before going to the Supreme Court. Instead, the complainants filed their protests directly to the Supreme Court.
Kennedy indicated that High Court is expected on Monday to argue the prohibitions.
It may also be recalled that Justice-in-Chambers Banks III issued a stay order on the December 16 Special Senatorial Election pending hearing into petitions filed before the Supreme Court of Liberia.
The Justice-in-Chambers at that time ordered the Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC) to halt all campaign activities leading to Special Senatorial Election.
The petitions were filed on November 24, 2014 by a concerned group of eminent citizens due to the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
Justice Banks took the decision based on two separate petitions for a Writ of Prohibition filed against the NEC and the Government of Liberia by Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus and Atty. Edwin Martin.
After argument, the stay order was lifted and election was held on Saturday, December 20, 2014.