NEC Nullifies Nimba District #8 Recount

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Mr. Saye S. Mianah obtained a margin of 19 votes ahead of Rep. Younquoi in the initial count following the October 10 polls

Hearing officer declares Saye Miannah Winner

Authorities at the National Elections Commission (NEC) have again nullified the results of the recount in Nimba County District #8 that put Larry P. Younquoi ahead with 17 votes, to his closest rival Saye Miannah following a recount.

Initially, Miannah was declared the winner of the October 10 polls with 19 votes ahead of Younquoi, but following a recount, Younquoi was found in the lead with 17 votes, which led Saye to file a complaint before the NEC, citing fraud and irregularities during the recount process.

However, in his ruling yesterday, December 11, the NEC Hearing Officer, John Wonsehleay said in line with the Constitution and Election Laws of Liberia, the NEC has upheld the results of the October 10 election in which Saye Miannah led with 19 votes.

He indicated that the resolution signed by the NEC Board during the 2005 elections cannot be used during the October 2017 elections and as a result, the November 1 recount result in Nimba District #8 is null and void.

In 2005, according to Wonsehleay, the NEC Board agreed to conduct an automatic recount in areas where a candidate wins with less than 50 votes.

“Whether the 2005 NEC Board resolution for the purpose of the October 11, 2005 presidential and general elections under the then absolute majority system may be used or made applicable to the 2017 elections or not, the decision was not incorporated in the NEC compilation regulations approved and published by NEC on August 22, 2016,” Wonsehleay said.

He said the NEC Board’s resolution that runs contrary to the constitution will be ineffective, because it will breach the constitution and noted that a clear constitutional provision may not be interpreted in any way other than its plain language.

Accordingly, Mr. Wonfehleay said because the 2005 board’s resolution was not constitutional, that resolution cannot be used in the 2017 elections.

“Subject to the limitation of conditions set above, any claim by Younquoi not specifically addressed in this decision are dismissed,” he ruled.

Though lawyers representing Rep. Younquoi did not say exactly their next action, they have 48 hours to file an appeal to the NEC Board of Commissioners.

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