Candidates, NEC roll sleeves
Defeated opposition Liberty Party (LP) presidential candidate Charles Brumskine and all representative candidates that contested on his party ticket on 10 October are due to enter a legal battle against the National Elections Commission (NEC) at the Supreme Court of Liberia this afternoon, 3 November.
Having ended at third place among 20 presidential candidates with just 9.6 percent of the total votes casted on 10 October, the third – time – defeated presidential candidate Cllr. Brumskine has been seeking a rerun of the entire polls owing to claims of fraud and irregularities that he blames on the NEC.
But the Judicial Public Information Officer clarifies that the Alternative Writ of Prohibition issued on all electoral activities is also not an annulment of the presidential and representatives elections held on October 10, saying no such election matter has gone before the Court.
Besides losing the presidential race in the first round, NEC official results published also show that the LP failed to win a single district seat in many counties, including Grand Bassa that is perceived to be Mr. Brumskine’s political stronghold. The Commission has since ruled out any major irregularities that could warrant the overturning of the entire votes, though it did not dispute claims that there were challenges on polling day.
With just days to the November 7 presidential runoff expected between opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC’s) Sen. George Weah and ruling Unity Party (UP’s) Vice President Joseph Nyumha Boakai, Chamber Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh issued a stay on all electoral activities pending a decision by the full Bench of the Supreme Court based on Cllr. Brumskine’s request for a prohibition.
To effect the Court’s action, Justice Ja’neh commanded the Marshall of the Court to notify the NEC, Members of the Board of Commissioners, and Cllr. Brumskine and his running mate Harrison S. Karnwea and all LP representative candidates to appear for the hearing before the full bench.
As per the Court’s mandate, the parties will have to show cause why the LP’s request for prohibition should not be granted by the Supreme Court.
The Court’s action is based on the constitutional issues raised in the LP petition, coupled with the fact that elections matters are to be expeditiously heard and determined.
The Judicial Communication office says the Alternative Writ issued to stay all actions in respect of the pending runoff elections is not a final stay order by the Supreme Court. Such action could be taken based on the outcome of the matter before the high court from which a final decision will be made by the bench.