10 August 2017

Liberia: Snowe Survives - for Now: Appeal Against Liberian Lawmaker Denied

Monrovia — The Board of Commissioners of Liberia's National Elections Commission today denied an appeal from Rep. Samuel Gayah Karmo(Unity Party, District No. 1, Bomi County) against Rep. Edwin Melvin Snowe of Montserrado County Electoral District #6.

Rep. Snowe is making an unprecedented bid to leave his current district of representation in Montserrado County for a play in the district Rep. Karmo has represented for the past six years.

Following the ruling, lawyers representing Rep. Karmo took exception to the decision and immediately pledged to mount an appeal for the second time, this time to the supreme Court, which is currently embroiled in a major impeachment push against three of its justices.

Commissioner Sarah Toe ruled: "In view of the foregoing, the appeal is denied and dismissed.

This is the second time in as many weeks that Rep. Karmo has been dealt a major blow in his quest to prevent Rep. Snowe from crossing over representation.

Rep. Karmo, on June 15, 2017, filed a complaint to Washington V. Farmah, Senior Magistrate of Bomi, against the alleged ineligibility of Rep. Snowe to register to vote, lest to run, for any public office in the upcoming October polls in Sinjeh, Bomi Electoral District #1, which Karmo currently represents at the Lower House.

In his ruling, Magistrate Farmah said the respondent's (Snowe) counsel filed a motion to dismiss the complaint contending that the ground cited in the complaint is not a ground for objection, and also that Karmo has not alleged any violation of elections law, and therefore the complaint must be dismissed.

Last week, NEC has rejected Rep. Snowe's bid to contest from Bomi County District #1 in the October 10, 2017 elections.

In its ruling, NEC charged that Rep. Snowe cannot be domiciled for two districts, for this, he cannot be allowed to contest in another county while being a sitting lawmaker for another.

The ruling affirmed that Mr. Snowe'saffidavit disclosed that he is a resident and a sitting Lawmaker of Montserrado County District #6 who holds a certificate as a Representative of Montserrado County District #6.

The domicile issue regarding Rep. Snowe is just one of many cases bound for the high court that is under threat amid impeachment proceedings against three Supreme Court Associate Justices which has serious implications on the upcoming presidential and legislative elections.

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