…S/Court Hears Argument Today
By James K. Kadi, Jr.
The Supreme Court of Liberia will today, December 1, 2017 hear argument into an appeal filed by Liberty Party and Unity Party against the recent decision of the Board of Commissioners at the National Elections Commission (NEC).
The two political parties Monday filed an appeal to the Supreme Court after NEC Board of Commissioners upheld the Hearing Officer’s ruling denying Liberty Party and Unity Party’s request for a rerun of the October 10, 2017 polls.
Liberty Party and Unity Party had complained that there were massive irregularities and fraud during the October 10 elections, for which they requested the electoral body to have a rerun of the election, a request that was rejected by NEC Hearing Officer and upheld by the Board of Commissioners.
However, Liberty Party and Unity Party took exception to the ruling and filed an appeal to the Supreme Court. The two political parties accused the electoral body of violating the Liberian Constitution and Election law.
They claimed that the Board of Commissioners committed reversible error when it failed to take cognizant of Section 3.11 (2)of the Election Law , which provides that “the Commission shall determine a period of not less than at least two (2) days before election day, which (a)the registration roll shall be available for inspection at each Registration Center (emphasis added)and compared with the commission’s master registration roll to make sure the roll is in order and that the names of the deceased registered voters are removed from the roll in accordance with the provisions of the this chapter; and, (b) claims for registration and objections to registration may be made. The dates determined by the commission shall be published in the same manner as is required by section 3.2 for notification of registration centers.’’
“Pursuant to the aforesaid quoted law, the Appellee issued its voter registration regulations, section 22.1, which provides that NEC shall certify the final Registration Roll and print one copy for each polling place; the failure of the appellee to comply with and enforce the Elections Law and regulations is indeed a reversible error,” the two political parties said in their appeal.
They further contended that the Board of Commissioners committed reversible error when it denied the motion of the Appellants requesting the recusal of Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoya, Chairman of the Board, because of public utterance of the chairman, 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 matter on appeal.
They argued that the refusal of the Board of Commissioners to have Chairman Korkoya rescue himself deprived the Appellants of their right to free and fair trial.