The Supreme Court of Liberia through Justice Philip Banks has placed injunction on the certification of three senators-elect from the December 20, 2014 special senatorial election.
Justice Banks through a formal communication to the National Elections Commission instructed the NEC Commissioners not to certificate Cllr. Varney Sherman, winner of the Grand Cape Mount County senatorial race; James Tornonlah of Margibi and Morris Saytumah of Bomi Counties, respectively on grounds that complaints have been filed against the three winners before the Supreme Court by contenders.
According to NEC Chairman, Jerome George Korkoya, last Friday the commission received an instruction from the court, requesting that august to deny Cllr. Sherman, Chairman of the ruling Unity Party and Mr. Tornonlah and later before the starts of the ceremony on Saturday morning, the court again issued another injunction; this time of former Minister of State for Legal Affairs in the President’s office, Saytumah for the same reason.
“We were informed by the Supreme Court through his Honor, Justice Banks that [the] three should not be certificated because there are some proceedings that the court had received and the matter is before the bench. We’re so sorry for the inconvenience this will [cause] winners, families, supporters and followers,” the NEC boss said.
Senator-elect Saytumah of the ruling Unity Party won with 8,857 votes, amounting to 47.1 percent of total votes cast in Bomi, while Cllr.Varney Sherman, Chairman of the Unity Party won with 13,651 votes, amounting to 61.7 percent of the total votes cast in Grand Cape Mount County, and Jim Tornonlah of the People Unification Party or PUP won with 7,893 votes or 30.5 percent of the total votes cast.
Speaking at the ceremony which brought together government officials, including Vice President Joseph Boakai, Speaker Alex Tyler of the House of Representatives, senators and representatives; Chairman Korkoya said, since the turn of the 21st century, many countries around the world have turned to election as the best means through which change of leadership can be effected in a democracy. He added that election is important because it gives power to the people to choose their leaders to make decision on their behalf.
On December 20, 2014, the people of Liberia went to the polls to exercise the power inherent in them by electing 15 senators to fill the vacancies in the Liberian Senate occasioned by the expiration of the nine years tenure of senators, who were elected in the first category during the 2005 Presidential and General Elections.
According to him, since the conduct of the election, NEC continues to receive words of commendation from Liberians and foreigners alike for successfully and peacefully conducting the Special Senatorial Election under difficult circumstances.
Speaking to the senators-elect, Chairman Korkoya said, “to you senators-elect, we gathered to certificate you as winners of the December 20, 2014 Special Senatorial Election as senators of each of the 15 counties of Liberia. The certificates we are issuing to you today is a testimony of the power that was transferred to you by the people of Liberia when they went to the polls on December 20, 2014.”
He maintained that the power that has been entrusted to them by the people comes with a great deal of expectation and responsibility; expectation to change their living conditions by the laws that the senate make and the programs senators undertake.
Speaking on behalf of the senators-elect, Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, expressed thanks and appreciation to the electorate, campaign managers and the National Elections Commission for the smooth conduct of the poll.