The ruling Coalition for Democratic Change or CDC has somersaulted over its decision to challenge the ruling of the National Elections Commission or NEC in the disputed Montserrado District #15 by-election before the Supreme Court.
The decision of the CDC not to contest the ruling of the NEC comes barely 48 hours after the electoral body Board of Commissioners upheld an earlier decisionby its hearing officers for a rerun of the July 29, 2019 Monsterrado County District#15 Representative by-elections in about 20 polling places where poll results are in contention.
The CDC and its candidate Mr. Abu Bana Kamara had vowed to file an appeal at the Supreme Court in a bid to overturn the decision of the NEC, arguing that they were being robbed of their legitimate votes by the ruling of the electoral body which called for a rerun in the disputed area.
The CDC through its lawyers on Saturday August 24th, in a letter addressed to NEC Chairman Jerome Kokoyahnotified NEC that it was withdrawing its notice of appeal, which it announced before the Board of Commissioners following their August 22, 2019 decision to uphold an earlier ruling.
“We are pleased to notify you that our client has elected not to seek a review of the August 22, 2019, ruling by the Board of Commissioners in the case above. Hence, with our client’s permission, we herewith submit the attached written instructions to form part of the record,” the lawyers representing the legal interest of the CDC candidate in the disputed by election said.
The letter instructing the lawyers representing the legal interest of the CDC and its candidate Abu BanaKamara to withdraw the notice of appeal before the NEC was dated August 23, 2019 and addressed to Cllr. Jonathan T. Massaquoi, Partner/Director of Litigation of the International Law Group.
In Mr. Kamara’s letter requesting the withdrawal of his notice of appeal he noted that he is “confidence of the rerun process.”
The case is a fall out of a complaint of irregularities and electoral fraud filed against the ruling party and NEC by Ms. Telia Urey of the four collaborating opposition political parties following the July 29 by-election in the district.Provisional results released by the NEC places Ms. Urey at 42.68 percent, ahead of CDC’s Abu Kamara, 41.48 percent.
In his ruling Wednesday, 14 August at the heavily guarded NEC headquarters in Monrovia, Hearing Officer Cllr. Munah Ville said Ms. Urey could not adequately provide pictorial evidences to prove beyond reasonable doubt, that there were discrepancies. However, he rule that there should be a rerun of the election in the disputed centers within the district.
The ruling by Cllr. Ville was taken before the NEC Board of Commissioners who on August 22, 2019 confirmed and reaffirmed the earlier decision for a rerun.
“Based on the factual, legal and public policy reasons contained in the said ruling, same is hereby confirmed and affirmed,” the NEC Board of Commissioners said Thursday August 22, 2019 in their ruling.The NEC Board of Commissioners said it will announced the date of the rerun in two working days if there was nothing otherwise.-Writes Othello B. Garblah