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Gongloe – Weh loses election battle

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Liberia’s Supreme Court has rejected defeated opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) Nimba County Senatorial candidate Edith Gongloe – Weh’s appeal in an election fraud case, saying among others, the swapping of votes during entry of election returns which was corrected did not impact the election results announced by the National Elections Commission (NEC).

“That the certified records in this case revealed that the results from the 741 polling places in Nimba County were certified by representatives of political parties, including the representatives of the appellant and made public by postings,” the Supreme Court ruled Thursday, 8 April.

Since the 8 December 2020 senatorial polls, Madam Gongloe – Weh has been challenging the results which favored sitting Nimba County Representative Jeremiah Koung whose political leader Senator Prince Y. Johnson and the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) trade on fertile political grounds.

The Supreme Court ruled “the incidents of storage of election materials at the J.W. Pearson High School campus …, casting of ballots in cartons, [and] breaking of seals in search of the Tamper Evidence Envelopes during tally for preliminary results … did not impact the results of the election announced by the NEC.”

Further, the court said the partitioning of District No. 7 votes between Lower Nimba and Upper Nimba during counting of votes, in its view, did not impact the results of the election announced by the NEC.

The Supreme Court therefore affirmed the final ruling of the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission, ordering the Clerk of the Court to send a mandate to the NEC to resume jurisdiction over the case and give effect to the judgment.

Madam Gongloe – Weh had gone to the Supreme Court on appeal after the NEC ruled she did not provide evidence to her allegations of frauds and irregularities against the electoral house.

The NEC denied and dismissed Madam Gongloe – Weh’s complaint and reaffirmed candidate Jeremiah KpanKoung of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction as winner of the 8 December 2020 senatorial election in Nimba County.

The complaint was first heard at NEC’s local offices in Nimba County on 12 December 2020 before it was transferred to the commission’s headquarters in Monrovia. By Winston W. Parley

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