Supreme Court Blocks More Senators-elect

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The Supreme Court of Liberia through Justice-in-Chambers Philip A.Z. Banks III has prohibited from taking office three more Senators-elect whom the National Elections Commission (NEC) declared winners.

The Court’s Writs Of Prohibition were issued to Maryland, Grand Kru and River Gee Counties’ Senators-elect, J. Gbleh-bo Brown, Albert Tugbe Chie, and Commany B. Wesseh, respectively, citing alleged elections irregularities. 

The Congress of Democratic Change (CDC) Representative Dr. Bhofal Chambers complained of massive wrongdoings during the election in Maryland County. 

Former Superintendent Rosalind S.T. Sneh of the ruling Unity Party (UP), who ran for Senator from  Grand Kru County,  complained to the High Court of  huge election irregularities; while ex-Lone Star striker, Jonathan Boye Charles Sogbai protested that there was voter fraud in River Gee County.

Earlier the Supreme Court prevented the certification of Senators-elect Cllr. Varney G. Sherman of Grand Cape Mount, Dr. Jim W. Tornonlah of Margibi County and Atty. Morris G. Saytumah of Bomi County.

The CDC candidates Dr. Foday Kromah and Prof. Ansu Sonii and incumbent Senator Lahia G. Lansanna of the National Patroitic Party (NPP) are the petitioners.

Up to press time yesterday, the three latest stalled Senators-elect and their lawyers separately held conference hearings with the Justice-in-Chambers.

The investigation of election irregularities by the Supreme Court meant the six (6) Senators-elect may not be inducted as Senators on Monday, January 12, 2015, if they have not been cleared by the opinion of the Supreme Court.

It may be recalled that last Saturday, the National Elections Commission (NEC) certified 12 of the 15 Senators elected during the December 20, 2014 Special Senatorial Election.

The certification ceremony took place at the headquarters of the National Elections Commission in Monrovia.

In his remarks during the ceremony, the Chairman of the Commission, Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoya, said the certificates issued to the Senators-elect are testimony of the Power that was transferred to them by the people of Liberia when they went to the polls on December 20, 2014.

Chairman Korkoya said the NEC acknowledges the low turnout during the election and will take the necessary measures to encourage higher voter participation in future elections.

Also speaking during the ceremony, the Vice President of Liberia, Joseph N. Boakai, expressed regret over the deaths of some registered voters as a result of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease in the country.

“I kindly ask you to remain on your feet and observe a moment of silence in memory of those registered voters who did not have the opportunity to vote; Ebola took their lives.  So we just want to remember them with silent prayer,” VP Boakai stated. 

Vice President Boakai then cautioned the newly elected Senators to become useful leaders in the new Legislature.

He also lauded Liberians, including both winners and losers, for ensuring a peaceful election, adding that it was remarkable to see the losers respectfully conceding defeat and remaining peaceful. 

VP Boakai has at the same time expressed thanks and appreciation to the international community and other partners, on behalf of the Government of Liberia, for standing by the country and its citizens during the Ebola epidemic in the country.  

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