28 November 2017

Liberia: Supreme Court Denies Writ for Prohibition in Nimba County District-8 Results

Photo: This Day
Symbol of justice

Monrovia — Justice-in-Chambers at the Supreme Court, Associate Justice Kabina Ja'neh, has ordered the National Elections Commission to continue with investigation of complaint surrounding Nimba County District 8 election results.

Justice Ja'neh passed the order upon denying a Writ of Prohibition prayed for by Representative candidate Saye Mianeh (Movement For Democracy and Reconstruction) who among nine other candidates including the incumbent lawmaker Larry Younquoi claimed obtained the highest number of votes during the counting of ballots at the close of the October 10 polls.

His 'victory' was contested by Younquoi who petitioned NEC for a recount of the ballots.

The recount at the NEC rather put Younquoi in the lead.

But Mianeh's lawyers, contending that it was illegal to have a recount filed for a Writ of Prohibition on the recount result at the Supreme Court while at the same time pursuing the case at the NEC.

"Petitioner also petitions and says that at the close of election in the district on October 10, 2017, he was declared the winner by simple majority consistent with Article 83 (B) of the Liberian Constitution when he accrued 19 votes more than his closest rival. Article 83 (B) provides that all except for President and Vice President elections for public officers shall be determined by simple majority of the valid votes cast in any elections" candidate Mianeh lawyer's argued.

Candidate Mianeh legal counsel, Cllr. Cooper Kruah further argued that Nimba County District #8 had 78 polling places where the electorates cast and counted in the presence of representatives or observers and result announced in his favor without any challenge from his rival incumbent lawmaker Larry Younquoi.

"Let the message go forth that I won this Representative seat but I don't know why NEC has to conduct a re-count to overturn the result in favor of my rival," said Candidate Mianeh after the Supreme Court hearing on Monday.

Contrary to Candidate Mianeh's claim, the incumbent lawmaker Younquoi stated that NEC did not announce any election result from Nimba County Electoral District #8 neither has they announce any winner because of the challenge he had put out against malpractices that he discovered during the election process.

Cllr. Frank Musa Dean, the lead lawyer of the National Elections Commission brought to the attention Justice Ja'neh that the same matter was before the NEC for investigation.

"Counsel, since the case is with NEC, I will advice that you go back there and let NEC rule in the matter and if you except to the ruling then you can come back here," said Associate Justice Ja'neh to the legal counsel of candidate Mianeh, Cllr. Cooper Kruah.

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