The possibility of incumbent Representative of Nimba County District #8, Larry P. Younquoi, the presumed winner of the October 10 legislative election, taking his seat at the 54th Legislature, remains elusive due to a complaint filed against him to the Supreme Court by his main challenger, Saye Miannah.
Considered Younquoi’s main rival, Miannah filed the complaint against the incumbent, who was earlier announced as winner of the October 10 poll by authorities of the National Elections Commission (NEC).
Meanwhile, Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh has cited Younquoi and Miannah to appear before him on Monday, November 27, to show reason why he should or should not prevent the NEC from certificating Younquoi as declared by the electoral body.
Younquoi was declared the winner of the poll following a recount of the vote, although NEC earlier announced that Miannah had won the election.
Initially, NEC, at its counting of the ballots, put Miannah 19 votes ahead of the incumbent, which made him the winner. However, that decision was later challenged by Younquoi, who argued for a recount.
The recount, which took place in Saclepea, central Nimba County on Saturday, November 4, put Representative Younquoi ahead of Miannah with 6,191 to 6,174 votes – a difference of 17 votes.
The decision to declare Younquoi the winner came after the recount proved that some votes that were considered invalid were actually not so.
“Some voters wrote the name of the candidate of their choice in the marking box instead of using the voting signs; but poll workers considered it as invalid, which went against the incumbent lawmaker,” the electoral body earlier claimed. “Having rectified the error in the recounting, not only for Younquoi, but for the rest of the candidates, the incumbent finally triumphed over his closest rival, Miannah, with 17 votes, making him the winner.”
But election law says any winning margin below 50 calls for a recount. As it is, observers are questioning if the NEC will annul the results and schedule a rerun in the district.
The case that is now before the Supreme Court for determination has been greeted with mixed reactions among citizens in the county.
With the initial assurance by the court that it was going to handle election-related disputes expeditiously, the people of the county are now waiting for Chief Justice Francis Korkpor to prove his critics wrong, because they have accused him and other justices of being in the constant habit of delaying cases brought before the court.