Politics News

Elections dispute debate

Liberians air their views about the ongoing electoral dispute on social media Only one of the 22 contesting parties filed an objection to the 1st round of the election within 7 days after NEC announced the results of the 1st round.

So only LP is before the NEC protesting the elections result, because UP failed to file its protest within the 7 days allowed by law (article 83), and as such, by operation of law, UP lost its jurisdictional standing to raise any protest issues surrounding the 1st round of the election.

To obtain jurisdiction, UP intervened in the pending matter between NEC and LP. It was legally important that NEC allowed UP’s intervention because UP has interest in the outcome of the matter between NEC and LP.

However, the Magistrate and Board of Commissioner must restrict UP to only the issues raised in LP’s protest, and not allow UP to raise new issues, which were not in LP’s original Protest.

Observations that UP is taking too much time to present its evidence to the Board is concerning, because the board must restrict UP to buttressing only the same and exact issues raised in LP’s original protest.

I don’t understand why the board is not telling UP to sit down and let LP present its evidence to substantiate the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 1st round of the elections.

LP and UP strategy to prolong the proceedings, so that the legal date for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to leave office, and turn over Executive authority to the new president elected is flaw in common sense and under the constitution.

As far as I am concern, NEC must complete its investigation and present its findings within 30 days after NEC announced the results of the 1st round.

NEC may also exercise the option to request the same court who suspended the November 7, election date, for addition days beyond the 30 days to complete its investigation.

Remember that this is the very 1st time in Liberian judicial history under a civilian government, that the court has suspended a provision of the constitution on mere allegation by way of the writ of prohibition, in the total absence of an alleged wrong ruling emanating from a subordinate forum like the NEC.

Remember now, the court admitted that it could not determine an allegation of fraud and irregularities via a writ of prohibition, but instructed LP to go back to the NEC, have due process about its protest, and come back to the court on appeal, in order for the court to make a determination if UP’s allegations were proven and correct, but denied by NEC.

With no wrong ruling from NEC, and admitting that LP’s application for the writ of prohibition did not provide the court with the evidence to determine fraud and irregularities happened in the 1st round, and by whom, the court effectively suspended the constitutional mandated time for the 2nd round.

The court is aware that the constitution provides that the election process begins October 10, 2017 and ends at inauguration of the new elected president by the people in mid-January 2018.

So with the exercise of such extraordinary power, the same court will eventually have to extend the constitutional time Ellen will have to remain in power, for the smooth transfer of power to the duly elected president by the people of Liberia.

Article 64 is not applicable here. Article 64 is restricted to death and disability of an elected president. The key words in article 64. are ‘elected president’

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