NEC Trashes UP’s Election Irregularities Claim

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Given the enormity of the task at hand measured against time constraints, NEC claims that it has already cleaned up 85% of the FRR.

– Says UP’s efforts are only distraction tactics

The chief hearing officer at the National Elections Commission (NEC), Cllr. Muana S. Ville, yesterday denied and dismissed the Unity Party’s case requesting solidarity intervention in support of the Liberty Party (LP) complaint about the alleged October 10 election irregularities.

Presenting his ruling on the matter, Ville said, “Having heard all arguments from both legal teams and witnesses of UP and NEC on the UP’s request to intervene in the LP’s October 10 polls alleged irregularities, this hearing office hereby denies and dismisses the UP’s request.”

Ville cited Article 83 (c) of the constitution which says, after the conduct of elections the NEC has 15 days to announce results; and therefore, immediately after the announcement of the results any aggrieved party is guaranteed the right as provided for in Section 5.61 to file a complaint to the NEC before moving on to the Court.

Section 5.61 says “In civil proceedings law it is incumbent upon any aggrieved party or individual to file a complaint if desired in a period of seven days as of the date of the announcement of results.”

Referencing the Kuku Dorbor case on January 6, 2012, on an alleged electoral fraud discovered in Montserrado District #3, Cllr. Ville said it is not applicable to the case involving the UP, NEC as well as the LP.

For his part, the head legal counsel for the NEC, Cllr. Musa Dean, argued that inasmuch as the UP failed to follow the law they claimed should protect them and others alike, they have nothing to benefit, and more so from the LP which is another political contestant in the October 10 elections.

“In law, the word ‘must’ is a very strong expression indicating a matter of no compromise. It means ‘compulsory or a matter of force to obey,” he said, noting that UP wants to circumvent the law so as to achieve a goal, not in the interest of the country.

He said UP wrote the NEC on October 30 requesting to have a meeting with the Commission to discuss issues related to irregularities but did not submit a formal complaint of any kind. “UP’s action is only suggesting a crisis. They are saying ‘we want a crisis’ instead of raising any logical point in the interest of protecting the nation’s peace,” Cllr. Dean noted.

He said the Liberty Party does not want UP, but UP is forcing herself on the LP. “I see no reason why UP should be crying out foul when they have succeeded in becoming one of the two parties to contest the presidential runoff. They are campaigning nationwide and are not supporting the LP in their request for the rerun of elections filed before the Supreme Court,” he said.

Cllr. Varney Sherman, who led the legal team of the UP at the hearing, meanwhile argued that the laws cited by the NEC’s legal team are only intended to protect a particular contestant in the runoff.

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Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman led the arguments on behalf of the Unity Party

According to him, there was nothing wrong in the UP’s intervention and the NEC had no injury to sustain thereof. “NEC is a nominal party but from the look of trending issues it is like NEC is no longer a neutral party,” he said.

He noted that the NEC should admit to their errors and not to cry wolf on behalf of another party. “Time limitation as quoted from Section 5.61 is not for the NEC but the primary party and in this case the LP and UP now joining them in sincere solidarity to condemn electoral frauds,” he said.

He noted that the Liberty Party erred by not serving all the participating political parties, including the UP, their complaint filed to the NEC on election irregularities; and the NEC, too, erred for not inviting all the parties, most especially the UP, which has succeeded to go for the runoff.

Cllr. Sherman, however, accepted the ruling from the Commission’s hearing officer and promised to obey the laws of the land.

In a related development, the Alternative National Congress (ANC) has also expressed support to the Liberty Party in its fight against the alleged election fraud.

The Alternative National Congress’ National Party Chairman Lafayette O. Gould said in a statement, released yesterday, that after the October 10 election results, the party’s standard bearer, Alexander B. Cummings, announced the ANC’s intention to explore and challenge the integrity and subsequent validity of the outcome of the elections.

“To this end, we engaged expert assistance and conducted a detailed review of our findings. Although the final findings reveal gross and widespread improprieties, we came after the deadline for filing complaints with the National Elections Commission,” he said.

Nonetheless, he said the party intends to catalog and release its findings to the public in an effort to help improve “our electoral process and illustrate the Alternative National Congress’ commitment to democracy, transparency and better governance.”

He added: “The ANC would like to also state its support of the Liberty Party’s official complaint to the National Elections Commission.”

Gould said the ANC and its standard bearer promised to continue to be dedicated to creating change and reform in Liberia. “We ask all partisans and Liberians to continue to remain calm during this very difficult period in our democracy. We must remain steadfast and peaceful in the preservation of the peace and stability of our great nation.”

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Ellen Sirleaf and her cohosts are trying to sow discontent, discord and disruption in the life of the Liberian people – stop playing politics with Liberians lives – you have killed enough already.

  2. This absolutely should not be blamed on the president. This is the work of the UP attempting to stall the elections because they fear defeat. By the way, did the Liberian people ever get a verdict on Cllr. Sherman’s bribery charges?

    • Swaray, UP is in solidarity with LP and they’re not stalling anything as you claimed. Read or listen to the press conference. The allegation Madam Sirleaf has some bearing of truth since people accused of crimes at never brought to trial because most of these people are relatives and friends. She deserves every bit of what these parties are giving her. Enough is enough!

  3. There should never again; be a méeting between a sitting President and the Elections Commission just before elections. An election commission should be INDEPENDENT; ‘less you want to call it something else.

  4. How does the Election Commission gets it operational and administrative budget? The theoretical concept of independence is foolhardy. What wrong with the president meeting the commission? Is the commission above the President of Liberia? Only dishonest people sees some problems. Think above that!

  5. I agree with Cllr. Sherman and Chairman Gould that the electoral process be revisited to improve all the shortcomings. If the irregularities are not material, then UP and CDC need to hold dialogue to move the country forward. including holding of the re-run/run-off. One of our problems remains, we do not want to talk to each other on our common destiny. How can we move forward with what the ESJ’s Administration left us… Let us remember that the Liberian people are wondering when we will get it right.

  6. No election commission which wishes to be or remain transparent and neutral, should allow itself in attending a secret meeting, especially under the cover of darkness, at the home of a sitting and outgoing president, prior to the presidential election. Such a meeting undermines neutrality and transparency on the part of the election commission; especially so, where the outgoing siting president in a speech at the United Nations told the world she would now transfer power to the “youths or young people” of the country, when she knew fully well that the old and experienced citizens were also participants in the presidential race. This is plain dishonesty. This is taking sides. This is not a level playing field for the elderly and the experienced . This behavior is not only discriminatory; but divisive and against our laws.
    We therefore call on the Supreme Court to declare the outgoing president interference in our electoral process as unlawful, unjust, and dictatorial. Moreover, her declaration to the world that she was transferring power to one group of citizens(the youths) as opposed to the other(old and experienced) as discriminatory and unlawful and by these unlawful acts and interference by the outgoing president of Liberia in our election, the entire process should be declared null and void. We did not elect her to determine who succeeds her. It is the people who should be the final determinants of who their next leader should be, whether “old” or “young”.

  7. ellen Johnson sirleaf is pain in the neck. ellen being a Liberian is a curse on Liberia. She is no good; she’s a crook. ellen and kids are the most dishonest people you can think about. LIBERIAN Youths!! there is no easy ways to success. Success starts with the individual. You have to work toward success. Education under ellen administration is laughable. ellen and her kids have enriched themselves of Liberia richness. Look…sanitation is completely broken…the whole of Monrovia is stink & dirty. Human living with there waste.
    No portable save drinking water.

  8. A Divided House- after accepting the October 10 2017 election results and revamping its team for the runoff I see the Unity Party caught in a double standard dilemma- Vice President of the country though been a standard bearer who should be in the vanguard of protecting and maintaining the peace and stability that his government emphasized is caught in the Web. But greed for power causes some people to forget their own importance in the society giving relevance to ego. Moreover, that is what happens when an individual forgets his or her role in society and go after their personal interest which creates misunderstanding-conflict of interest. However, the so called educated people does not see no problem with this behavior of the ruling Unity Party which is a recipe to stir conflict to go after its own institution, NEC and “Nicodemusly” joined the Liberty Party to go to court. Then what will the ordinary people affected by their decisions do. But thank God that Liberians are not playing by their cunning games that have the propensity to tamper with our nation’s peace. I continue to urge all Liberians to continue to preserve and maintain the peace that we have enjoyed for over twelve years. Let them (power Seekers) play the mind game and you (Liberians) play the wisdom game; lets peace reign in Jesus name.

  9. Opong / CDC is to blame. It is great mistake that was made to have some UP people to cross over to his party. He should have not taken Mrs. Taylor as running mate (VP). Charles Taylor her husband is one of the wicked leader in Liberia history. Opong lost is his own making…

    By the way reasonable Liberian should vote Boiakai (UP) for progressive and secure Liberia

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