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Supreme Court hands down final ruling

Jonathan Grisby/Steven Dorbor/Maximilian Kasseh, J
Members of the Supreme Court Bench,Monrovia,Liberia
Members of the Supreme Court Bench,Monrovia,Liberia

MONROVIA, LIBERIA-The Supreme Court of Liberia has handed down final ruling in the electoral dispute case, calling for run-off election with modifications other than re-run of the October 10, 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections.

The decision followed several weeks of legal arguments into the complaint filed against the National Elections (NEC) by the Liberty and Unity Parties.

The parties said the October 10, 2017 Elections was characterized by massive frauds and irregularities.

At one point of their arguments, the Liberty Party opted for a re-run of the electoral process, while the Unity Party prayed the Court for a run-off.

The case landed on the Supreme Court Bench after the parties rejected the outcome of previous investigations, first by hearing officers of the NEC and the Commission’s Board of Commissioners.

Observers believe that the final ruling of the Country’s highest Court will now enable Liberians who have been having doubts about their Country’s political future since the commencement of the electoral dispute breathe some air of relief.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has mandated the NEC to fully comply with the standards for conducting elections.

During the ruling, the Court made several recommendations to the NEC as corrective measures for the conduct of a run-off election.

As part of the measures, the Court ordered the election house to do a full cleaning up of the Final Voter’s Roll (FRR) to ensure that multiple names and IDs are removed from the system.

It also said the NEC should ensure that the FRR be available and hard copies are published at each polling place and with each magistrate.

The Court said giving the fact that the FRR is the only electoral document that speaks to the eligibility of the voters; the Commission is hereby prohibited from allowing anyone whose name is not on the FRR to vote.

Subsequently, poll watchers whose names are not available at their assigned areas should not be allowed to vote in those areas.

The Court said it is taking aback by the interpretation by the electoral laws as displaying copies of the FRR at each polling place in consonance with Article 22.

The decision also means that the Supreme Court has affirmed the ruling by the NEC Board of Commissioners to conduct a run-off election between the ruling Unity Party and the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC).

At the same time, Cllr. Charles Brumskine said: “I am disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision, despite the Court’s acknowledgement of pieces of evidence provided by the Liberty Party, the Court ruled against the party.”

He spoke Thursday, December 7, 2017, at a press conference at the Headquarters of the party in Monrovia, in response to the ruling of the Court’s decision.

Cllr. Brumskine said the party accepts the ruling in good faith as the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of justice in the Country.

The Liberty Party Standard Bearer noted that this is the first time in the Nation’s history that an election characterized by wide- spread violation of constitutional rights, is not policed by international peace -keepers, and held without report of a single person’s death.

Cllr. Brumskine also said that the Liberty Party’s legal pursuit of justice was in the best interest of every Liberian.

He however called on supporters of the party not to be distracted by the opinion of some Supreme Court Justices, but to celebrate the party’s efforts in introducing integrity in Liberia’s electoral system.

The party’s Standard Bearer then urged supporters of the party to remain calm and law abiding as the Country prepares for a run-off.

 


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