Liberia: Supreme Court Final Ruling in NEC Vs LP Case Sparks Mixed Views

Liberia’s Supreme Court says the first round of the country’s presidential and legislative elections were, to some extent, characterized by irregularities but says it has not been established that the malpractices warranted a rerun of the entire elections.

Monrovia — Amid the many speculations and perceptions as to whether Liberia's will go to a run-off or rerun, the Supreme Court of Liberia has come down with its final ruling in the case involving the National Elections Commission, Liberty Party and the ruling Unity Party on Thursday, December 7, 2017.

A few weeks ago, Liberty Party (LP) filed a complaint following the announcement of the October 10 elections' results, which put the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in the 1st position with 38.4 percent of the total votes count, the Unity Party came 2nd with 28.8 percent followed by Liberty Party in the third position with 9.6 percent of the total votes count.

The Supreme Court in its final verdict ordered NEC to proceed with the run-off of the presidential election that was placed on hold on November 6, base on the complaint filed in by the standard bearer of the Liberty Party, Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine.

"The stay order issued on November 6 is hereby lifted and the NEC is hereby ordered to proceed with the schedule of the run-off election in accordance with the Constitution of Liberia and the New Election Law and in conformity with the rule set forth in this opinion," Supreme Court ruling stated.

The Supreme Court's final judgment has sparked mixed views among citizens:

Hawa Bropleh, Executive Director for Liberian Assistance

"I want to say that it was a fair judgment today in a sense that, we did not see sufficient evidence for a re-run.

The evidence was not sufficient, and we as women organization, are here for peace. This is not about what I want personally, this is about the country (Liberia), so I am very pleased with the judgment.

I'm saying to the political parties that we need to stay calm; we need to exercise good judgment, we don't want fighting, we don't want any chaos, go to the ballot box and vote your choice. The NEC, in the future, needs to be a little more accurate in what they do."

Malinda B. Joss, Executive Director, Women, Children Development, (WOCDAL)

"It is only Liberia we have; we have no other country."

"We want the political parties to be calmed. Let everybody accept that this is the Supreme Court and we know and all we think is that there is nothing else should happen for this election that will be against everyone so we should have a peaceful country.

My women and I have been crying and yarning for peace. We needed a judgment that would make everybody pleased and at peace.

Today's judgment is good for our country. We don't have money for re-run, there is no money for re-run but run-off, we can go back to run-off.

Boima J. V. Boima, Chair, Social Media Communications, CDC

"We are a political institution that respects the rule of law. Definitely we will accept everything that has been said by the court.

That's why we all anticipated that indeed the Court was going rule that those irregularities that occurred on October 10 should be corrected before we go to a possible runoff and that is where we are.

So we have no problem with the ruling. We are happy because this has demonstrated that indeed the will of the Liberian people no matter how long it takes will prevail.

Theirs will prevail as indicated in Article 1 of the Liberian Constitution. Obviously Joseph Boakai will be shown the exodus of power come December 19 or whatever date is set."

Amos B. S. Kanneh, Unity Partisan

"We are 100% prepared to go to the runoff. We have never been sacred of elections; the Unity Party is prepared to go to the election because we are noted for winning in this country.

Are you saying we delay the election?

When people got disappointed in the NEC and they decided to go to court? We decided to collaborate with them because we saw irregularities in the elections results is that what you mean afraid?

The decision of the Supreme Court today is the best decision for us as a country and I think we are ever prepared for the runoff"

Jeremiah Samuel Dugbo, I

"I think today is a sad day for Liberia; this is sad day in our history. I see it as a reaffirmation of the public that we have a single branch of government.

In fact, I refer to this court as a Supreme Court of the Executive Branch because following the decision as I listened to the opinion being read by Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Bank, particularly on the reason why they have to hold on the appeal from the Board of Commission on the basis of not a single Liberian had an issue or raised an issue on the Supreme Court. It is not a surprise to me, I think that our democracy is denigrating than others think that it is progressing."

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