-For update on implementation of Supreme Court mandate
The Senate at its 77th day sitting yesterday, requested its secretary to cite the chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC) to appear before that body on Tuesday, December 19 at 12 noon to address some pertinent problems the commission is faced with in the wake of the pending runoff presidential election.
The Senate’s unanimous decision followed the reading of a communication from Lofa County Senator Stephen J. H. Zargo, in which he requested the plenary to invite “the officials of the NEC, including its chairman Jerome Korkoya to come over to appraise the honorable body on how the commission intends to fix the problems associated with the election as contained in the modification of the Supreme Court opinion.”
Senator Zargo, who chairs the Senate Committee on Defense, Security, Intelligence and Veteran Affairs, told the Daily Observer that the visit is necessary at “this crucial stage of our nation’s politics that also has security implications.”
During its landmark ruling in the Liberty Party (LP)/Unity Party (UP) versus the NEC prohibition case on Thursday, December 7, the Supreme Court mandated the NEC to fix the problems that occasioned the taking of the case to the High Court.
In its eight-count mandate, the Supreme Court ruled that NEC publish and make available the Final Registration Roll (FRR) to all electoral magistrates for subsequent display at all polling places in the country. The Court also ordered NEC “to conduct a full clean-up of the FRR to have it comply with the provision of the law.”
As part of the cleaning up of the FRR, persons whose names were not on same should not be allowed to to vote; addendum to the FRR be limited to those within the NEC polling and counting manual; and that officials of the Commission refrain from making utterances on matters growing out of the runoff election, which would likely be issues of possible future electoral disputes, among others.
River Gee County Senator Conmany B. Wesseh earlier proffered a motion to send his colleague’s letter to the Senate Committee on Autonomous Agencies, but some were not cooperative, including Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, who specifically recalled the appearance of officials of NEC prior to the elections over some of the issues the LP and the UP raised, and declared that if the relevant committee had followed up with the NEC over what was discussed, “maybe we will not be in the position we occupy at present. I therefore urge my colleagues that he amends his motion that will ask the NEC officials appearance before plenary.”