30 November 2017

Liberia: Liberty Party Bill of Exception Finally Lands At Supreme Court

Photo: FrontPage Africa
Ben Sanvee, Chairman of the opposition Liberty Party

Monrovia — The Supreme Court of Liberia will on Friday begin hearing the Bill of Exception of the Liberty Party, which calls for the reversion of the final ruling of the National Elections Commission.

"Wherefore and in view of the foregoing, 1st Appellants hereby tender this, as their Bill of Exceptions, for your approval so that your adverse Final Ruling will be reviewed by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia, and reversed."

According to the Liberty Party, the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC) committed a reversible error in its final ruling by dismissing their case, "although the specific allegations of violation of the Constitution and Elections Law of Liberia, the massive fraud and gross irregularities effectively remain unrefuted by the Apellee."

The Liberty Party maintained that the October 10 elections did not pass the minimum standards required for free, fair, and transparent elections.

In the appeal, the party which is led by Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, said NEC Board of Commissioners ruling was erroneous by denying their request for a rerun of the October 10 elections given the plethora of evidence produced during the hearing at the NEC.

The Liberty Party noted that the Board of Commissioners did not take into consideration the mandate of the Hearing Officer during his final ruling that "the National Elections Commission is hereby to take the necessary steps to correct all what they alluded to as difficulties and challenges before any future election."

The aggrieved party listed some of the challenges as: In Margibi County, Precinct #24180 Place #1, Liberty Party poll watcher noticed that around 6:30pm, after polling had closed and the ballot box sealed, a group of persons came from the rear of the building.

The seals of the ballot boxes were broken by the Presiding Officer and those individuals were allowed to vote.

In Bongaplay, District #4 in Nimba County, the NEC had only three polling places, when there should have been four.

The voters, who, according to the Liberty Party, were being deprived of their constitutional right to vote, took matters into their own hands and disrupted the voting.

In Lofa County, Precinct #21128, a Liberty Party poll watcher was tied, beaten and bruised by Police officer Jefferson Togbah on orders of the Presiding Officer, because he had continuously raised issues of counting irregularities.

They also mentioned the transporting of sealed ballot boxes across a river by two young men unaccompanied by a Police officer, among other challenges which they believe flawed the electoral process.

The Liberty Party argued in the Bill of Exception, the Liberty Party noted that the Board of Commissioners erred by noting in its final ruling that "All would agree that a transposing error, which was corrected and did not impact any candidate's vote does not constitute fraud."

According to the political party, the holding of the Board is against the weight of the legal principle that "... that if the process is flawed, no matter how good may been the intention, especially if it departs from the prescribed manner or mandate of the law, it could have the propensity to impact negatively and severely, no just a single individual but, as in the instant case ... " the entire nation.

The party, amongst many other issues, noted that the NEC Board erred by denying the its Motion for requesting the recusal of Cllr. Jerome Korkoya who serves as Chairman of the Board because he his public utterances, pre-judging the evidence and issues of the case, while the matter was being tried before the Hearing Officer, knowing that he would preside over the review of the matter on appeal.

"Wherefore and in view of the foregoing, 1st Appellants hereby tender this, as their Bill of Exceptions, for your approval so that your adverse Final Ruling will be reviewed by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia, and reversed," the Bill of Exception noted.


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