26 February 2018

Liberia: Ellen Faces Rivals At UP

The chief dispute hearing officer at the National Elections Commission has returned the case involving the expulsion of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and others from the ex-ruling Unity Party back to the UP, dismissing the motions to dismiss filed by the party former standard bearer Joseph Nyumah Boakai and current national chairman Wilmot J.M. Paye.

The ruling by Cllr. Muana S. Ville is line with the legal doctrine of exhaustion available of remedy. The UP under the authority of both Chairman Paye and former Vice President Boakai , took the decision in late December 2017, expelling Madam Sirleaf, national secretary general Patrick Worzie and others.

But Mr. Worzie subsequently filed a petition to the National Elections Commission, contending that the decision contravenes the UP's Constitution. However, chief dispute hearing officer Cllr. Muana S. Ville rules that the petitioners, Worzie and others, while complaining that Paye and former standard bearer Boakai have violated provisions of the UP's Constitution, they (Petitioners) also must respect the provision regarding the exhaustion of remedies, saying, "... The respondent/Petitioner having not s exhausted the remedy available within the Unity Party, the Hearing Officer lacks jurisdiction to hear this Petition."

"Wherefore and in view of analysis made above, the Respondent/Petitioners petition is denied and dismissed for Respondent/Petitioners failure to exhaust the remedy provided for them within the Unity Party's Constitution and also for other reasons stated above in this ruling", Cllr. Ville rules Friday, 23 February at the NEC. -By Jonathan Browne

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