The National Elections Commission (NEC) has withheld the certificates of three senators-elect in the just-ended Senatorial election. The certificates were withheld based on a stay order from Justice in Chambers of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Philip A. Z. Banks.
They include Cllr. Varney Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County, Jim Womba Tornonlah of Margibi County and Morris Saytumah of Bomi County.
The individuals were recently announced winners in their respective counties by the NEC after obtaining more votes.
However, NEC Chairman Jerome G. Korkoya said the commission could not certificate the three individuals because Justice in-Chambers Banks has issued a stay order on their certification.
Chairman Korkoya disclosed that the order prohibiting the certification of Cllr. Sherman was received last Sunday, while Saytumah and Tornalah's certification were issued Saturday morning few minutes to the start of the certification program.
Mr. Tornalah and Saytumah certification prohibitions were received by the NEC when the pairs had already taken seats at a special place arranged for the senators-elect. However, they were immediately told by the NEC to leave the area because they will not be certificated.
Our reporter said Justice Banks' stay order is apparently a result of complaints filed by rivals to these individuals.
He named individuals whose complaints might have led to Justice Banks' prohibition order as Lahai Gbabye Lansanah, Saytumah's contender for the seat in Bomi County, Fodee Kromah, Cllr. Sherman's revival for the senate seat in Grand Cape Mount County and Mr. Ansu Sonii, close rival to Mr. Tornalah for the Margibi senate seat.
The NEC boss expressed regret for not certificating them, noting that the order must be respected.
Recently, the NEC declared Cllr Varney Sherman, a candidate of the Unity Party winner for the Grand Cape Mount senate seat after defeating his rival, Abel Momodu Massalay of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) with 13,651 votes, which represents (61.7%) to 1,131 votes, representing (5.1%)), Jim Womba Tornonlah of the People's Unification Party (PUP) was declared winner for the seat in Margibi County after defeating his contender, Ansu Sonii of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) with 7,893 votes, which represents (30.5%) to 6,640 votes, representing (25.7%).
In Bomi County, Morris Saytumah of the ruling Unity Party (UP) was said to have won the seat after beating his main rival, senator Lahai Gbabye Lansanah of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) with8,857 votes, which represents (47%) to 6,837 votes, representing (36%).