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Supreme Court orders NEC to investigate Liberty Party's complaints,stay order remains

Fabine Kwiah/ Jos Garneo Cephas
The Supreme Court Judges
The Supreme Court Judges

MONROVIA, LIBERIA-The Supreme Court of Liberia has granted the writ of prohibition as prayed for by the Liberty Party, seeking to place a hold on the run-off election until its complaints are investigated and disposed of.

Delivering the  opinion of the Court Monday, November 6, 2017, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor said: “The National Elections Commission (NEC) should have waited for the seven days of the complaint to elapse before announcing the run-off elections”.

Justice Korkpor said:" It was important that NEC dispose of the case before the run-off election, however the court disagreed with the interpretation of Article 83c provided for by the National Elections Commission.”

The court further said  while it is true that Article 83c gives NEC the constitutional power to conduct elections, announce the results of the elections  and conduct investigations within 30 days upon receipt of complaint , NEC should have waited  for the seven days period stipulated to elapse before announcing the run-off election.

The court then said  the writ of prohibition will lie where a tribunal is not proceeding rightly  in keeping with laws.

Speaking further for the court, Chief Justice Korkpor quoted Article 20 of the Liberian Constitution which states: “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, security of the person, property, privilege or any other right except as the outcome of a hearing judgment consistent with the provisions laid down in this Constitution and in accordance with due process of law”.

The court noted that having a run-off election while Cllr. Charles Brumskine's case is still pending is equated to denying him due process, as the rule of law that hears before it condemns.

Justice Korkpor said: “NEC cannot designate two candidates for run-off elections where there is a complaint before them”.

Concluding  his  reading of the court opinion , Justice Korkpor said the writ of prohibition will lie until as such time Cllr. Brumskine's case is heard and a decision render by election commission ,and if need be he can come back to the Supreme Court for final disposition.

The court has therefore  referred the case back to the National Elections Commission for speedy investigations.

 


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