Liberia: Supreme Court Denied CPP Petition! - Says NEC Not in Error

Judge's gavel.

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MONROVIA-The Supreme Court of Liberia has denied the writ of mandamus filed with that honorable court by the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) seeking to prevent National Elections Commission (NEC) from jointly holding the two by-elections along with the midterm Senatorial elections and referendum on December 8, 2020.

According to the Supreme Court, NEC is not in error to have set December 8, 2020 for the holding of the District number nine Montserrado and District number two Sinoe Counties by-elections, rather the legislature are to blame for such, on grounds that it did not notify the commission of the vacancy in time.

Both Montserrado and Sinoe Counties Representative by-elections were to be held on or before October 28, 2020 as per the ninety days time frame for the NEC to conduct election for vacancy in the national legislature.

The by-elections of Montserrado and Sinoe counties are as the result of the deaths of Representatives Munah Pelham-Youngblood on July 8, 2020 and J. Nagbe Sloh on June 30, 2020.

Article 37 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia states: "In the event of a vacancy in the Legislature caused by death, resignation, and expulsion or otherwise, the presiding officer shall within 30 days notify the Elections Commission thereof. The Elections Commission shall not later than 90 days thereafter cause a by-election to be held; provided that where such vacancy occurs within 90 days prior to the holding of general elections, the filling of the vacancy shall await the holding of such general elections."

The CPP in its writ to the court mentioned that NEC unilateral announced the said date for the holding of the representative by-elections to occupy the vacancies without the involvement of the political parties something the CPP term as deliberate, wanton and vicious assault on the letter and spirit of the 1986 Constitution and with callous disregard for its consequences.

The lawsuit added "It shows how gravely unmindful the NEC has become of its constitutional duty and the fundamental laws of the country. The pronouncement made by the NEC to the effect that it will conduct the by-elections to fill the existing vacancies in the House of Representatives on December 8 is an act completely without the pale of the law.

But, the Supreme Court thinks otherwise. The court noted that it cannot issue the stay order on the representative by-elections as pray for by the Collaboration Political Parties.

BY: New Republic Feature Writer

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