Margibi County senatorial aspirant withdraws case against NEC
The Supreme Court of Liberia has lifted the stay order placed on the campaign and other electoral activities for the upcoming mid-term senatorial election, following a complaint filed by the lawyers representing Mulbah Jackollie against the National Elections Commission (NEC).
The lifting of the stay order came when a major law firm, the Public Interest Law Office, on Wednesday, November 17 withdrew overnight from the lawsuit it filed in favor of Margibi senatorial aspirant Jackollie against the NEC for allegedly denying his candidacy due to his absence to be photographed by the commission as a result of poor health.
The stay order initially placed by Chamber Justice Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh mandated the NEC to put a hold on all other activities, including the publication of the final list of candidates to contest the election, as well as the declaration of the opening of campaign pending the outcome of the hearing of Jackollie’s complaint.
It is unclear as to what necessitated the law firm’s decision, especially when they have assured Jackollie that they would do everything legally possible to have him participate in the pending Mid-term Senatorial Election.
The lead lawyer in the case, Cllr. Jallah Barbu, who is a constitutional lawyer, did not immediately reply to a request for comment by the Daily Observer after expressing his client’s interest not to continue with the matter.
Cllr. Barbu had argued that though their client, Jackollie, was absent for the photograph; his office staff did all of the relevant documents for his qualifications, which the electoral body rejected thus leading them to opt for relief from the Supreme Court.
A source has confided in the Daily Observer that Jackollie’s action to withdraw the case was due to pressure that accused him to act as perceived accomplices in the opposition political parties’ effort to delay the conduct of the December 8 polls.
The source also claimed that Jackollie and his family members have been receiving an unaccountable threat from unknown individuals to abort his quest to delay the holding of the mid-term Senatorial Election.
In his complaint, Jackollie claimed that his candidacy was denied by the electoral body due to his absence to be photographed by the Commission, which absence Jackollie blamed on poor health.
It may be recalled that Davidetta Browne Lansanah, Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC), canceled the declaration of the opening of the campaign that was scheduled for Saturday, October 10, within the calendar of events leading to the conduct of the due to legal action before the Supreme Court.
She said the Court ordered that the NEC put a hold on all other activities, including the publication of the final list of candidates to contest the election, as well as the declaration of the opening of the campaign, pending the outcome of the hearing at the Supreme Court.
In compliance with the Court’s order, the Commission will not publish the final list of candidates today. And without the publication of the final list of candidates, we cannot declare the campaign open” the NEC chairperson told journalists.