Unity Party (UP), the intervening political party in the Liberty Party’s alleged fraud and irregularity case before the National Elections Commission (NEC) has called on the Commission to make public all voting records, including results of the elections.
UP’s lead lawyer, Senator Varney G. Sherman, in his argument yesterday at the hearing of the case, said the NEC must bring forward records showing the October 10 results in order to verify how it came up with the representative and presidential election results.
“How the NEC arrived at the October 10 elections final results needs to be known. Are they saying there are no documents to show how this Commission went on with the creation of addenda (additional list of names of voters whose names were not seen on the final register roll)?” Cllr. Sherman asked during his argument at the hearing.
He said the LP’s complaints, as well as those of others about the way the elections went on, are based on pieces of evidence, and as such the NEC should exonerate itself from the charges by submitting their records on the processes.
It may be recalled that LP, ALP, ANC and lately UP have filed complaints alleging that more people voted exceeding the number registered at some polling centers and that ballots were allegedly tampered with by some presiding officers (PO), among several other complaints.
He accused the NEC chief lawyer, Cllr. Frank Musa Dean, of serving as an accomplice of the Commission to hide basic public documents in connection with the electoral processes. Sherman also called on the Commission to make available the final voter registration roll for the ongoing investigations as well as for the runoff election ahead.
He argued that the NEC has nothing to lose even if there is no runoff this year. “It is not about speeding up with a process but what is right to do is what we are demanding. It is practical and a very relevant functioning of our democracy,” he stressed.
He said buying voters’ cards as in the case of Othello Deshield, a representative candidate who contested on the Liberia Restoration Party’s (LRP) ticket in Nimba County Electoral District #1, the discovery of ballot papers in Grand Gedeh County beneath the earth, among several other cases, should be reported by the NEC with necessary clarity and outcomes from investigations conducted so far.
Taking the stage to argue, NEC lead lawyer, Cllr. Dean, said Sherman’s technicalities are wrong and intended to cause more delay in the electoral process. “We are not interested in your technicalities and remember that rules that are applicable to the court are not applicable here. This is a hearing office and it cannot be overburdened with tasks such as revisiting all records and submit them into evidence,” Dean noted.
He added that the cases involving Amos Seibo, a staff in the office of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Othello Deshield from Nimba District #1 were investigated by the Liberia National Police and forwarded for prosecution.
“We don’t have any legal right to go back to the police or the court and request for the cases in order to re-investigate them. They are criminal cases and the concerned authorities have already taken care of them,” he said.
Meanwhile, NEC chief hearing officer, Cllr. Muana S. Ville, granted UP the opportunity to get from the NEC the FRR but denied the request for addenda from all polling centers in the October 10 elections.
Cllr. Ville will today rule as to whether UP has a valid ground for intervening in LP’s case.