NEC’s Hearing Office Trashes Edith Gongloe-Weh’s Complaint

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Senator elect Jeremiah Koun (left) with Senator Prince Y. Johnson at the ruling from the Hearing Office of NEC.

-Says pieces of evidence and witnesses testimonies provided no proof of fraud and irregularities

The Elections Disputes Hearing Office of the National Elections Commission (NEC) has dismissed Edith Gongloe-Weh’s complaint, citing that pieces of evidence and witnesses’ testimonies amounted to no proof of fraud or irrgularities.

In his ruling that took more than one hour to deliver, Cllr. Boakai Harris said his elections dispute hearing office, after keenly listening to witnesses, including Madam Gongloe-Weh and all others, found no grounds to nullify the December 8, 2020 Special Senatorial results in Nimba, neither call for a rerun or a recount as requested for by the complainant.

“Following all of the cross-examinations of both the complainant and the defendant’s witnesses and pieces of evidence produced, this hearing office saw no violation of any chapter of the New Elections Law of Liberia and hereby uphold the election results of December 8, 2020, declaring candidate Jeremiah Koung winner,” Cllr. Harris said.

“The complainant’s witness said he saw three ballot boxes broken and other ballots were stuffed into those boxes, but he failed to state the seal numbers of the boxes, something which nullifies that aspect of the complaint and this office says no proof to be considered fraud or irregularities,” he added.

The hearing officer, Cllr. Harris, said the complaint from Madam Gongloe-Weh that ballot boxes were broken into by some stalwarts, including an Elections magistrate in Nimba, needed sufficient proof such as stating out clearly the serial numbers of the boxes, knowing that agents were present when the incident occured.

The NEC dispute hearing officer further said that no record showed that the representatives of Madam Gongloe-Weh did not receive and sign records of counts, neither did they file in any complaint nor protest before the end of the election process on December 8.

Madam Gongloe-Weh’s legal team, meanwhile took exception to the hearing officer’s ruling and will appeal to the Board of Commissioners of the NEC for further hearing.

Cllr. Kuku Dorbor, alongside Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe and his asociates, said the due process must be followed and they will not relent in reaching out with the matter at the level of the Supreme Court should there be dissatisfaction from the NEC.

In his reponse through an exlucsive interview with journalists, Jeremiah Koung, Senator-elect and yet still Representative of Nimba District #1, said he is unhappy by Madam Gongloe-Weh’s aimless delay tactics and waste of the people of Nimba’s time as well as the NEC and all others involved.

“I am not happy because this a complete waste of time. This matter was filed on the 12th of January and now we are here on the 22nd of February 2021. On the 24th of January this complaint could have been heard, but Madam Weh appealed that the matter be brought to Monrovia due to insecurity,” stressed Koung.

“How can you say Nimba is not safe but at the same time wanting to be the people’s Senator for nine years,” Koung asked rhetorically.

He said no matter what happens or where they go, he is confident that he has won the election and nothing will change about it because numbers don’t lie.

“It is a waste of the people’s time. I am prepared for even the ECOWAS court to further defeat her there.”

Numbers will never lie. If you bring Jesus, who is looking at us, they will be condemned because they don’t have issues. Their intention is to just unnecessarily delay our certification, but by the time we are done with this, and we are certificated, we will look at the Elections Law. There is a need for some ammendment,” he said.

Koung added: “If the complainant says that ten ballot boxes were broken, their poll workers took the list of the seals but they failed to provide that into evidence. They failed to bring out the serial numbers on those alleged broken boxes. All the complainant prayed to is sentiment and cry foul when there is no foul.”

He admonished all his supporters as well as his opponents to remain calm and keep the peace.

“We will talk about reconciliation but, for now, my opponent must understand that she has lost an election for the third time. She has to stop playing on the minds of our women and other people with the gender idea. It is democracy and it calls for competition of ideas to convince voters to vote you,” Koung noted.

He pointed out that the Prince Johnson’s factor when it comes to election in Nimba should also not be given any serious attention because the National Elections Commission does not work at the will and pleasure of Senator Johnson, neither is he hijacking results in favor of candidates or himself.

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