30 November 2017

Liberia: Supreme Court Hears LP's Appeal Friday

Photo: Liberian Observer
Temple of Justice, home of the Supreme Court of Liberia.

Liberia's Supreme Court is due to hear a bill of exception filed before it by opposition Liberty Party (LP) this Friday at 10am, in challenge to rulings made by the Board of Commissioners at the National Elections Commission (NEC) denying LP and ruling Unity Party (UP's) quest to conduct a rerun of the 10 October presidential and representatives' elections due to alleged fraud and irregularities.

The LP came third in the first round of the polls and is not designated for a runoff, but the UP which came second in the pools and designated alongside opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) to contest the runoff is backing the fraud case raised by the LP.

The runoff was due to be held on 7 November before a Supreme Court order halted the process in order to allow the NEC conduct investigation into claims made by the parties, alleging fraud and irregularities in the elections.

The NEC's Hearing Officer and the Board of Commissioners refused LP and UP's request, thus prompting the bill of exception before the Supreme Court. In the bill of exception, the LP tells the Supreme Court that the Board of Commissioners at the NEC committed reversible error when it denied a motion requesting NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome George Korkoyah's recusal due to his public utterances that allegedly prejudged the evidence and issues of the case.

The appealing party is complaining that the NEC's Board committed a reversible error when it held that correction was made and only 110 votes were processed as cast for the CDC ticket following allegation that the CDC ticket was given 1109 votes at the Topaipolu Public School polling place in District #6 polling place #1 in Bong County in excess of the required registered voters.

The LP insists that the NEC's Board committed reversible error when it failed to take into consideration witness Lima Lighe's testimony over the incompetence of the polling staff on election day, the absence of queue controllers to direct voters to their right voting lines and the process of adding individuals' names to the Final Registration Roll (FRR), though no such provision was contained in the 2017 regulations.

The LP asks the Supreme Court to review the NEC's ruling, having claimed that the 10 October elections did not pass the minimum standard required for free, fair and transparent elections.

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