Supreme Court Hears LP, UP Appeals Friday

13
3808
Supreme Court Justices

The canceled November 7 runoff election could soon get a new date next month if the Supreme Court starts hearing Liberty Party (LP) and Unity Party’s (UP) appeals on Friday, December 1, 2017 against the National Elections Commission’s ruling of Friday, November 24.

The NEC Board of Commissioners (BOC) last week upheld the Commission’s chief hearing officer’s ruling against the two political parties in the ongoing alleged irregularities and fraud case.

Cllr. Muana Sando Ville, chief elections disputes hearing officer, on Thursday, November 23 dismissed LP and UP’s case against the Commission on grounds that the two political parties failed to provide sufficient evidence to warrant the cancellation of the October 10 election results.

It may be recalled that the LP – on October 23, filed a complaint at the elections central hearing office calling on the Commission to drop all preparations leading to the proposed November 7 runoff expected to have taken place between the Unity Party (UP) and the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and to investigate allegations of massive fraud and gross irregularities.

The Commission, however, went on with preparations for the runoff election while investigating LP’s case as well as other cases emanating from the October 10 polls. This annoyed LP; and it, therefore, sought redress by seeking the intervention of the Supreme Court which placed a permanent stay order on the expected runoff.

LP, having returned to the NEC, received UP as an intervening party in the case, thereby leading investigations to cover nearly a month at the level of the hearing office and subsequently to the NEC Board.

After the NEC Board handed down it’s ruling on grounds that both the complainant and co-complainant did not prove the allegations of fraud and that the irregularities did not in any way amount to fraud, the two political parties vehemently took exception and appealed to the Supreme Court. The parties argued that they could not get justice from the NEC because the Commission is the accused and at the same time the investigator/judge.

The Supreme Court meanwhile has up to December 8 to complete its task of looking into the appeals and give the final ruling. The two options on the table are either that the runoff be held in case the court nullifies the two parties’ complaints or a rerun of the October 10 polls is held on the basis that the NEC was guilty of committing fraud that may warrant a rerun.

In a related development, both Muslim and Baha’i communities have admonished the aggrieved parties as well as the accused to consider the general interest of the country to maintain unity and peace.

Speaking to the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview yesterday, the chairman of the National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMC), Sheikh Imam Omaru Kamara, said Liberia is more than any one individual and as such individuals advocating for justice on behalf of their political institutions should be fair in putting forth their arguments rather than introducing issues alien to the truth.

“We are pleased that this time around there is no one in the forest or the streets destroying lives and properties on the basis that they have been cheated in an election. We thank the Almighty Allah that the judicial system of our country is now respected,” Kamara said.

He noted that the Muslim community in collaboration with other religious groups in the country has been working with political parties to ensure that the country’s democracy is protected from degradation and destruction. “The Inter-Religious Council to which we are a part has been having peace conferences and other events with political parties and they have been very cooperative and we expect them to remain peaceful,” he said, adding that the Ganta Declaration and the Farmington Declaration were not only intended to ensure that sides in the ongoing political activities remain peaceful, but also respect the rule of law.

For his part, the secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahai’s of Liberia, Eddie Wright, said inasmuch as that Bahai’s do not take a side in any political activity, they believe in the maintenance of law and order. “As a people, we live by the teachings of God brought to us through His divine Manifestations and those teachings have civilization as their foundation,” Wright said.

He thanked Liberians for demonstrating democratic maturity by turning out to vote on October 10 and called on all to pray for peace and God’s direction as the legal system takes care of the ongoing electoral cases.

“Liberians have demonstrated tolerance in these difficult political times and we are certain that such resolve will continue among us all as a people as we strive for divine support in dealing with our problem,” Wright said.

Authors

13 COMMENTS

  1. Your honors, Chief Justice, and Associate Justices of the Honorable Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia, please do your solemn duty, and let us move forward.

  2. Mr. David Mentor, where in this story did you provide any explanation or justification for the title of this story: “Supreme Court hears LP, UP appeals Friday.” You make such a bold statement or lie and couldn’t support it? Read your own write-up and tell us where in there does it state from any official source as the headline suggests, that the SC is scheduled to hear the appellants on Friday. Very poor and inferior journalism, if you asked me.

  3. Given this Supreme Court decision in the Code of Conduct, the Edwin Snowe representation case, and other cases in the past, I will be very surprised to see this court rule in this pending electoral fraud case in the supreme interest of the Liberian people, Constitution of Liberia and the Liberian Laws governing elections.

    What is troubling is the fact that NEC, an entity which is accused of fraud and requested to provide public documents relating to this alleged massive fraud, has refused and it’s serving as the judge and jury of the very fraud case. This amount to making a mockery of the system. If this Supreme Court does not overturn decisions of the NEC and the Board of Election Commission, this court will be setting a stage for future conflict in this Nation. We are watching with critical eyes.

  4. Counselor Brumskine didn’t provide convincing evidence of “elections irregularities” – never mind his “massive fraud” exaggeration – to show that they were prevalent enough to change the outcome of NEC’s October 10 results: CDC and UP top two finishers. As for the tailgating of LP by UP, the ruling party’s own lead lawyer, former Louis Grime’s School of Law Professor and one time Justice Minister Counselor Benedict Sannoh said it best, no rerun, correct mistakes.

    However, for bigoted devilment disguised as determined advocacy for “rule of law”, an unwholesome alliance of egoists, reactionaries, and anarchists would rather the Supreme Court be an accessory in violating the constitutional right of the “people’ to alter their government and fill vacancies by “regular elections”. And the goal: Replace this election’s scheduled democratic transfer of power for constitutional succession headed by the Speaker, a plan come hell or high water they must execute – God save Liberia.

  5. From here, Liberia will not need another Supreme Court to help rid the country
    of the century and half old electoral irregularities, frauds and lack of transparency.
    Therefore, if the Supreme Court of Liberia rules that there should be rerun of the
    elections, it should be no surprise to anyone, especially to Liberians at home and
    abroad. Another clue the Supreme Court must take into account is that the
    elections were overseen by a foreigner contrary to the election Laws of Liberia;
    An American Chairman George Jerome Korkoya and this is what we got from him
    and therefore we must correct it as a nation and people.

  6. The Judicial Branch, Supreme Court’s final decision is highest backed by its own digger given by the Liberian people to interpret Liberians jurisprudence. We as Liberians have no alternative but to accept this decision and exercise our freedom of choice,’ the right to vote or not to vote’, when the announcement is made on this electoral constitutional date. The silent majority assures a peaceful transition. Liberian people will go about their normal activities in peace. When the time comes the new President elected will come to the Liberian people in secret heritage.. in peace. Liberians will handle this process themselves
    Gone to 57%. Do not answer this box.

  7. Go sell you market, eat you food, do your own work or help the people and let them pay you, or play or do something for yourself. Not in your gossip. When the time comes to vote those Liberian people who want to vote .will vote; and those who can’t or do not want to vote will not vote. We will handle our own election problems this time in peace. We will do it the way our founders from the time we became a nation fix it. Do not bring and trouble talk here again. We are waiting for our constitutional time. God’s time. Telling the Liberian people in Liberian.
    Gone to silence. Do not reply.

  8. The Supreme Court hears all kinds of cases. However, because we’re at a critical moment, it makes sense for its members to act quickly. The most important news that all Liberians would like to hear is the date of a new runoff. It is hoped that there will not be any rigging of ballots by individuals who are hellbent on causing trouble. Additionally, it is hoped that precinct workers who were inadequately trained before October 10, will now be able to perform their assigned duties well. Finally, because the questionable NEC has a lot to do, (God knows we want no excuses), the Supreme Court must proceed with a faster speed.

  9. I can’t believe what I am reading hear from people who called themselves educated. First of all, I agreed with the former NSA Director that Brumskine did not provide convincing evidence of election irregularities, and massive fraud as he claims. The burden of prove lies with Brumskine, and not NEC. And Brumskine did not do a good job in this aspect. The case before the supreme court is plain and simple. As supreme court judges draw their ruling from previous cases and instances based on facts, this supreme court must base its rulings on facts and evidences, and not on hearsay and rumors.
    We know very well that in the past two elections, CDC and UP have managed to go to runoff while LP has come third and fourth. If any party should be calling for fraud, it should be CDC. In the past two elections, CDC came first in the first round when it was only a single party. Now that it has formed a coalition with three other parties which definitely gives her the edge of winning the first round and the entire election, people are complaining about fraud in favor of CDC. Logic and common sense will you that this case is not about election irregularities and fraud but some hidden agenda known to the accusers. This case will determine whether the Liberian people can trust the judicial system or not.

  10. The Supreme Court’s final electoral decision will be based on the precedence of this case brought forth by the nation’s constitutional provisions. Regardless how the bench is placed or who presides in chambers, what cases may same congruent could be nonproductive in its presentation. It is the truth that matters to the Liberian people jurisprudence. If the Supreme Bench sees that either of or both of the accused or accuser is a falsehood, the case will be determined on the actual truth. This is the law. It is the actual factual President of Liberia that all Liberians need. The real count. Get ready to vote or abstain. Whether it is a rerun or run-off, the Constitutional electoral law is the decision of the Court. After the Supreme law of the Liberian nation is interpreted and announced, burden of result can only be on the people’s constitution provided by founders. It is this result that the silent majority is standing by to protect towards a peaceful smooth transition. There is enough time provided. Let the Liberian people know what the law says.
    Gone in silence. Do not reply.

  11. Liberia’s ELECTORAL problem is, too many political parties. As such, there will always be problem(s). Let’s trim down to two major parties. It’s more manageable. Let each political party, have their own primary at their own expense to select a standard bearer for every Presidential Election.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here