Re-run or Run-off?

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The full bench of Supreme Court has cited Speaker Chambers and his colleagues to appear before the Court today "to hear arguments" in the Ja'neh impeachment matter

Update: 

  • Supreme Court issues Stay Order “on any and all activities” pertaining to the Nov. 7, 2017 run-off election, pending final decision

  • NEC to file response to no later than November 2, 2017 (which is Liberia’s Thanksgiving holiday). 

According to the Writ of Prhibition signed by Atty. Sam Mamulu, Acting Clerk of the Supreme Court of Liberia, the Supreme Court has ordered “the National Elections Commission and Members of the Board of Commissions of the said Body, of the City of Monrovia, Republic of Liberia, respondents in the above entitled case of action, that upon the orders of the Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh, presiding in Chambers, they are to appear before the FULL BENCH of the Honorable Supreme Court, Temple of Justice, on Thursday, November 2, 2017, at the hour of 9:00 a.m., to show cause why the PETITIONERS’ petition as prayed for should not be granted.

“…to stay any and all actions in respect of the pending Run-Off Elections scheduled for November 7, 2017, pending the disposition by the Supreme Court of the Petitioners’ petition.  You will further inform the parties that given the constitutional issues raised in the petition, coupled with the fact that election matters are to be expeditiously heard and determined, that upon service of this Writ and the Returns thereto, the case is hereby docketed for the urgent disposition by the Bench en banc.

“…to file their formal returns to this writ in the office of the Clerk of this Honorable Court on or before the 2nd day of November, 2017.”


The case, which was to have been decided yesterday, October 31, had to be rescheduled because four of the justices were reportedly out of the country, but returned late yesterday to the court room.

The five are: Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor Sr, Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh, Justice Jamesetta H. Wolokollie, Justice Philip A.Z. Banks III and Justice Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh.

On Tuesday, Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh, who is the chamber justice, heard argument into the matter and assured authorities of the National Elections Commission (NEC) and LP that he was going to inform the parties of the outcome of his decision, which he could not reach because four members of the justices were reportedly not in the country.

It may be recalled that LP on Friday, October 27, asked the Supreme Court to place a stay order on all electoral activities, including the run-off presidential, pending the outcome of its complaint that is before the NEC for determination.

In a ‘Writ of Prohibition’ to the Supreme Court, LP said since it filed its complaint to the NEC against alleged malpractices, the Commission has deliberately refused to look into the matter, but was instead only concerned with preparation for the November 7 run-off, which they believe runs contrary to the constitution and election laws.

A ‘Writ of Prohibition’ is an order directed to the judge and parties of a suit in a lower court, ordering the court not to exercise jurisdiction in a particular case. It arrests the proceedings of any tribunal, corporation, board, or person when such proceedings are without or in excess of the jurisdiction of such a tribunal, corporation, board, or person.

“The fraud and gross irregularities throughout the electoral process warrant a rerun of the elections,” the LP said. “The results of the October 10 presidential and legislative elections be annulled and a rerun must be ordered to ensure that fair and transparent elections are held in accordance with the constitution, election and other laws of Liberia.”

In their argument, the LP said, Article 77 (b) and 80 (c) of the Constitution, Section 4.8(a) of the enabling elections law, and Article 6 of the Regulation on Polling and Counting “provide that voting shall commence at 8 a.m. and close at 6 p.m., provided that the last person in queue at 6 pm, shall be permitted to vote.”

“The NEC failed to adhere to the said regulation and in many instances, the polls were opened late and in some cases, as late as 3 p.m., clearly to the detriment of the registered voters – many of them were members of the LP, who had shown up to exercise their constitutional right and political franchise,” the LP alleged.

According to the LP, the consequences of the late opening of the polls by the NEC was that most voters especially the elderly and disabled, having stood in line for hours, were effectively deprived of their constitutional right to vote and were constrained to leave the polling places, “believing that such a polling place will not be open or that the location had been changed.”

Outlining some of the frauds in their request, the LP claimed that after voting ended at Precinct #30073 at the Barnersville Public School and at Polling Place #3 in Montserrado County the ballot box was sealed with the following numbers “(a) Pre-046330, front (b) Pre – 046324 – right (c) Pre-046335 – left” and party representatives left the polling place.

Unfortunately, the LP argued, “our poll watcher returned to the polling place only to find the presiding officer’s hand in the ballot box, having broken the seal.”

It added, “The numbers of the second set of seals that were placed on the ballot box are (a) Pre-046324, (b) Pre-027338 (c) Pre-027323, and (d) Pre-046336.”

“NEC’s polling officer Josephus Cooper of Electoral District #3 in Nimba County was arrested with pre-marked ballots in his possession, some of which he had already deposited in the ballot box,” the LP explained.

In Zota, Polling Place #3, Precinct Code #06102, Shankpallai Town, District #4, Bong County following the close of the polls and counting on Wednesday morning October 11, it was noticed that the NEC presiding officer, Joseph Karlon, was carrying a presidential ballot box on a bike; when confronted and interviewed, the officer stated that the ballot box was left behind and that he had gone alone, unaccompanied by a police officer, to pick it up.

At the Coalition Center at the SKD Complex, the LP again alleged that, “it was also observed that in Precinct #30171, Polling Place #3 District 12, Montserrado County, Liberty Party’s Charles Brumskine obtained 205 votes, regrettably, the presiding officer, elected to cancel same and allotted 26 votes.”

Also, “In Margibi County, Dwazon, District #1 voting Precinct #24105, Polling Place #4, the presidential record of the count shows that there were 2,550 as a total of unused, spoiled and discarded ballot papers, although there should not have been more than 550 ballots at any polling place.”

According to the National Elections Commission’s results, Liberty Party stands third place position with 149,495 votes representing 9.6 percent behind the ruling Unity Party (UP) with  446,716 representing 28.8  percent second place and Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) with 596,037 also representing 38.4 percent in the first place.

Article 83 (c) of the 1986 Liberian Constitution provides that “The returns of the elections shall be declared by the Elections Commission not later than fifteen days after the casting of ballots. Any party or candidate who complains about the manner in which the elections were conducted or who challenges the results thereof shall have the right to file a complaint with the Elections Commission. Such complaint must be filed not later than seven days after the announcement of the results of the elections.”

The situation has unnerved voters and other political parties, including Unity Party, All Liberian Party and lately Alternative National Congress.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. If there is a rerun only those political parties that meet the standards should be allowed to run. I believe this would likely be the top 5 from October. The NEC needs to start doing its job by enforcing its own regulations.

  2. It has been posted before but needs to be posted again. To continue to include all of these persons and parties who receive less than 2% of the vote is costly and confusing to the electorate.
    CHAPTER 5A
    REVIEW OF PARTY RESULTS 49
    § 5A.1. Review of Party Results
    (1) A Political Party or Independent Candidate shall be suspended
    if the candidate(s) nominated in an election for Presidency
    or a seat in the Legislature receives insufficient support in
    that election thereby resulting into:
    a) None of the Party’s candidates is elected, and
    b) The total of all valid votes cast for the candidates
    nominated by the party is less than two percent (2%) of
    the total of all valid votes cast for all candidates in the
    constituencies in which the party contested, the
    Commission shall suspend the party’s right to nominate
    candidates for the next two (2) elections for the same
    office.
    (2) If an independent candidate has contested an election for a
    President or a seat in the Legislature, and in that election:
    a) The candidate is not elected, and
    b) The total of all valid votes cast for the candidate is less
    than two percent (2%) of the total of all valid votes cast
    for all candidates in the constituency that the candidate
    contested, the Commission shall suspend the candidate’s
    right to be a candidate in the next two elections for the
    same office.
    (3) Paragraph 5A (1) does not apply to a political party that, at
    the time of the election had a member continuing to hold
    office as President or as a member of the Legislature.
    § 5A.2. Appeal
    A decision to suspend the right of a political party or a candidate
    to contest elections may be appealed to the Supreme Court.
    § 5A.3. De-Registration
    A political party shall be de-registered only upon the judicial
    determination of a court of competent jurisdiction in
    accordance with due process of law.

  3. Regarding rerun or run – off, a relevant question comes to mind: Did the allege October 10 elections’ “irregularities” rise up to wrongdoings which require invalidating the results? Unsurprisingly, most observers seem to demur. So, rather than our Supreme Court justices taking on the extra load of the administration of elections, they ought to think of stability in a “fragile, fractious, and factional state”; after all, no one expressed dismay that UP and CDC are in the run – off.

    Moreover, doesn’t it make one wonder that none of the losers in the legislative elections (including the defeated candidate to brand new Bomi County transplant Rep. Edwin Snowe) is complaining never mind the “massive fraud” accusations of few presidential candidates?

    Lest we forget, the disputed presidential election’s results in the state of Florida was decisive as to who win the 2000 race between Democratic nominee Vice president Al Gore and Republican challenger George Bush. Yet notwithstanding that Bush’s younger brother was governor, and there were evidence of voter – suppressions in Black polling zones that would’ve gone to the democrats, guaranteeing the presidency for Al Gore, because of “stability”, a “rerun” in the state wasn’t ordered by the US Supreme Court.

    Anyway, reliance on rule of law or rationality in a partisan judicial environment may be a slippery slope, this is the same Supreme Court which rubbished the Code of Conduct law it had few months prior upheld. And whether coincidence, cockiness, or confidence, it is the same Counselor Brumskine of LP who felt he shouldn’t abide by that law. Nonetheless, do, don’t deny Liberia her first peaceful democratic transfer of power in the twenty – first century; folks, the race isn’t won yet by anyone!

  4. OK ” Day ja vue” of October 15 1985 is creeping, or is already here. The goal, this time , is not a military junta leader threatening to rake the results, but envy and self-centered losing politicians are bent on weakening CDC – Coalition voters. Their goal is to derail and frustrate the voters , eventually keeping them from voting booths, which will eventually lead to their victory.

  5. I have received so many criticism that I m not a Liberian, therefore; I should not any to say in this whole election case. Hahahahahaha!!!!!!!!! I say to you, I m more Liberian than the former foreign minister Mioni Captan. Captan’s father came from Beirut, Lebanon 5’132 miles from Monrovia or Liberia. My father came from a village in Fouta Djallon, Guinea. 211 miles from Monrovia. My father is an African, a black man like any Liberian. Captan’s Father a Lebanese ( middle Eastern Asian manor). 3/4 Caucasian. If I ever try running for a public office in Liberia, I will be labeled a foreigner even though, my mother was a member of the vai tribe—- better yet still Alahaji kromah. If such a mind set continue, I m afraid, we are light years away from becoming a civilized environment.

    • Wrong young man . The Liberian constiution does not allow citizenship to pass from the mother to any of her offspring born to a non-Liberian father or foreigner , only a Liberian father by constiutional rights can pass his citizenship to any of his offspring born to any non-Liberian mother or foreigner . So at age 21 you must naturalized to be considered as a Liberian citizen or continue to carry your father’s nationality as a Guinean . And even at that you can never be elected to be president as a nationalized citizen . But you and others in the same boat can work to change that . Want to prove that ? Try getting a passport from the Liberian government through the proper channel with your birth certificate . Many children born to a mother who is citizen and a foreign father always believe that they are automatically citizens of that country , but that is not so .

  6. Well, ongoing orchestrated frantic efforts to stage a political coup d’ etat by means of law rather than guns – as if the end would be any different – bring to mind a sound advice in the penultimate stanza of Robert Burns’ poem, “To A Mouse”:

    “But, Mousie, thou art know thy lane,
    In proving foresight may be vain,
    The best – laid schemes of men and mice
    Often go awry,
    And leave us nothing but grief and pain
    For promised joy!”

    With wonder, folks, we have witnessed (on several occasions) so – called strategists miscalculating, thereby catalyzing unforeseen consequences. We don’t want war.

  7. Interim government ? Please . Article 64 of the constitution recognized the Speaker of the House as the third person in line to the presidency for the purpose of constitutionality . There will be no suspension of the constitution, and so the Supreme Court can take all the time its need to work this through . Those hoping for an interim government after or before January will be disappointed, there is a Speaker in the waiting to take over the presidency until the next general elections . Of course they will still find fault just to have an interim government . But the constitution is the constitution and must be followed .

  8. Bah,
    If you were born in Liberia, you’re a bona fide Liberian! Also if you obtained genuine citizenship by way of naturalization, you are a Liberian. Bah, you and I are at odds politically. But, I will defend your right to promote Liberian patriotism. No one will be allowed to criticize or accuse you on the basis of national origin. You are a Liberian!

    My area of disagreement with you and Flomo is simple……
    Tell the readers why you think sen. Weah is the right man for the presidency of Liberia. Are you guys afraid?

    There was a time when I travelled from Chicago, Illinois to Maryland. On my trip, I sat next to a German national who was very genteel.I asked the gentleman whether a BMW automobile is superior to a Mecedes Benz. His response was this:
    “The younger people of Germany like BMWs. The older people of Germany prefer the Mercedes automobile. All in all, both automobiles are great. They’re reliable”!

    I brought up the automobile analogy because I have observed that a sizable number of young Liberians like Weah. On the other hand, most supporters of Boakai are not simply the Weah types. Boakai’s supporters are of a different generation.

    The problem with Weah’s supporters is their refusal to say why he is the right guy for the job. Bah, Flomo and other guys and gals are simply back-peddling on this important issue. Why is that young fellas?

    You cannot provide any means of escape. You might as well tell me, the readers and responders on this blog if it can be called as such. The more you slip and change topic, I will get you. Okay?
    What are two or three of Weah’s legislative achievements since his time as senator of Montserrado county?

  9. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia is deciding the fate of this election Run-off. Regardless African solidarity or hospitality hosted by this administration’s exit. This means that the executive, legislative, and anyone else must stay in their respective functions and places calm and peaceful to protect Liberians sudden judicial souvenir as a people. Judiciary supreme chambers door remains closed on this run-off issue until announced. As soon as the decision is made by Liberians Supreme jurisprudence, full bench, the silent majority in active service 57% now in control of the Liberian people’s Presidential sovereignty will instruct NEC to immediately proceed with the Liberian Highest Court’s interpretation as mandated by the Liberian nation’s constitutional provisions. We should not forget that this decision of the Supreme in chambers is our secret heritage and cannot be tampered with internally nor externally, leveled upon us by our forefathers and founders; So help us God.
    Tell the Liberian People correctly and appropriately.
    Gone in Silence. Do not Reply.

  10. The Liberian people judicial air sea land tanker should close its door and move in to the Temple of Justice by camped instinctive majority decision until otherwise decided by Liberian people’s jurisdiction on par equally with executive and legislative enactments.
    Gone to 57% too. Let the People of Liberia arms know.
    DO NOT REPLY THIS BOX.

  11. Mr. James David and Mr. Hney.. To you first Mr. Hney, I kept on saying this to you. I m not a Weah supporter, nor a politician. If you (Mr. Hney), was the standard bearer of the CDC, and the Liberian people want you, I will advocate your position within this election. I want to make this very clear and precise. I M HERE TO RESPECT THE LIBERIAN PEOPLE CHOICE. THAT CHOICE CAN BE ANYONE, REGARDLESS. Once NEC qualify you as a candidate. You want to change my view. you are trying to tell me that the majority of the CDC partisan are young men and women. Since I m YOUNG, I m therefore a CDC supporter that the reason I m supporting Mr. Weah presidency. I say to you sir, “NO”. I m here to respect the choice of the Liberian people. Because, it was the scenario that brought us (Liberian), to where we are. We should learn from our mistake. It was election fowl play that drove the Nimbaian into the arms of Taylor. Today, it is Weah, who knows, maybe tomorrow it may be someone else. People who are trying to derail the process by calling for a rerun and Interim Government, only because they feel that they will not win, should please put Liberia first. You are asking me to point out Mr. Weah achievement in the senate. I don’t want to make Mr. Weah achievement the argument here. What the voters saw in him that they want him to be president, is yet to be known to them. However, they are citizen of Liberia, I m not there to tell them how to vote and who to vote for. Mr. Weah put the peace and harmony Liberia first when he conceded in 2005, and dropped out in 2011. He would have said no. Who knows, where the country would be today.

    Mr. James David, My father was naturalized and I travelled out of Liberia on with a Liberian birth certificate, and a Liberian passport. I m saying, with all that, if ever, in feature If I decide to hold public office, you and some Liberians will be the first to tell me that I m a foreigner or a Muslim. “da ga is not from here”, “. Viola Tate, the, mother of Mr. Captan would be happy to read my note.

  12. Let God all mighty bless us all, as we track along this turbulence path. Let greedy politicians and self-centered anarchists put Liberia first and foremost. Even those that are doubting my citizenship, at the end, Liberia First. I m not prudently in Liberia, but it is where my heart is. I went to government school on Liberian taxpayer money, therefore; I owed a millions to that country. The only thing can do right now, is to add my voice to the many Liberians that are yearning for lasting peace. We, the Liberian people, created that opening, that make a man like Weah to have the “gut” to run for president. Folks…look at the election results!! Not from me. “Number don’t lie”.

  13. Gentleman ” for give me for my type error . I m using small – screen phone to write . It is sometimes difficult to go back and edit my writing. After posting I observed some misspelled words.
    Thanks.

  14. To all who calling me “General Flomo”. I m not a general and I have not served in any military organization or group in Liberia.
    My name is Flomo Kizemue Domah. My father came to Liberia from Mozambique in 1969 along with the South African jazz trumpeter Hughes massekella. My father was part of the MPLA ( Frelimo). The Portuguese youth movement that was fighting the Portuguese government ill treatment of the people of Mozambique. Massekella left my dad in Liberia and went on to the USA in 1970, in 71, President Tubman hired my dad and sent him to Tubman farm in Belefana ,Bong County. My dad met my mother, a Grebo, from Maryland County in Bong County in 1975. My mother father was sent to Tubman farm from Maryland count by president Tubman. I was born in 1976. My Flomo name was given to me by my parents’ landlord. According to my mom his name was Yarkpazuah Flomolhon. Meaning” small Flomo” , in kpelle. I grew up in Bong County, I speak kpelle well. I have lived in Pleebo, Maryland, for few years.

    The main issue here is: we should respect the choice of the voters. As Mr. Bah said, anyone of you could be where Mr. Weah is today, I Flomo, will say or write on your behalf. I m living in Michigan, watching every news coverage on Liberia. I m not a Weah man, or supporter, if he is the one that the Liberian want, well that’s fine.

  15. Please Supreme court and NEC, the peace the Liberians have been enjoying over twelve (12) consecutive years and continue to enjoy shouldn’t be jorpadized, simply because of self-centered politicians.
    Put the country interest first.

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