NEC asks S/Court to dismiss CPP petition
By Lincoln G. Peters
The National Election Commission has asked the Supreme Court to dismiss and trash a petition filed by opposition Collaboration Political Parties (CPP)’s requesting the court to compel it to demarcate constituencies before conducting the ongoing Voter Registration exercise, arguing that it lacks legal substance.
The Court on Tuesday, April 4, 2023, reserved ruling in the petition following arguments from both NEC and CPP lawyers.
At the hearing on Tuesday, CPP lead lawyer, Cllr. Aloysius Toe argued that NEC is acting in violation of Article 80 “C, D and E” of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia by conducting the BVR without demarcating constituencies after the census.
Cllr. Toes explained that according to the constitution, immediately following a national Census, and before the next Presidential and legislative elections, the NEC is mandated to reapportion constituencies by the new population figure with each constituency obtaining at least twenty thousand registered voters.
This he stated NEC has failed to do as has been mandated by the constitution.
But in counter-argument before the full bench of the Supreme Court, NEC lead lawyer Cllr. Jenkins Wright argued that the NEC is functioning without the threshold being set up by the National legislature.
Cllr. Wright informed the court that NEC had not violated any provision of the Constitution as mentioned by the CPP in their petition and argued by their lead lawyer.
“However, we (NEC) prayed this court and your honor to dismiss the petition filed by my colleague (CPP) because this lacks legal substance,” Cllr. Wright noted.
Meanwhile, after carefully listening and following both legal arguments, the Supreme Court reserved ruling in the matter.
” Finally, after carefully listening and following the legal argument, we reserve ruling in the matter. You will be duly notified about the next hearing. This case is now adjourned” Chief Justice Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh stated.
Last month, the CPP filed a petition asking the court to address the constitutionality of the NEC’s conduct of Voter Registration without the demarcation of the constitutional electoral constituency following the conduct of the national census.
CPP accused the electoral house of attempting to conduct Voter Registration in the absence of demarcated electoral districts.
In the petition, it contended that following the conduct of the 2022 national census, demarcated electoral districts should reflect changes in the country’s population.
The CPP said its petition before the Supreme Court is not intended to delay the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
“The CPP is not seeking the intervention of the court to delay the elections,” it said.
“We know that Liberians cannot wait to end their sufferings by decisively voting out and bringing to a democratic end the multiple failures in [the] leadership of the George Weah-led administration,” it continued.
The CPP said like many Liberians, it is concerned about the constitutionality of the action of the NEC to conduct voter registration after the conduct of a census without constitutionally demarcating constituencies into which a voter is to be registered.
The lawsuit aims to prevent the electoral body from conducting voter registration in constituencies that have not been appropriately reapportioned to reflect population growth.
Liberia’s population, according to the provisional census results stands at 5.2 million, an increase of 50.4 percent when compared to when it was 3.5 million.
This represents a population gain of over 1.7 million people in the space of 14 years, with urban growth up by 52 percent and rural growth down by 48 percent.
However, the CPP alleges that if the NEC is allowed to proceed with the first phase of its nationwide voter registration exercise, without considering the census result, it would be a violation of Article 80 of the Constitution of Liberia.
“The CPP has filed a petition before the full bench of the Supreme Court concerning the constitutionality of the action of the National Elections Commission to conduct voters registration without constitutionally demarcating constituencies into which a voter is to be registered,” the CPP said.-Edited by Othello B. Garblah
So-called CPP lawyer need to read the law with reasoning then going to the Supreme Court. Has LISGIS published the final listing or do NEC presented the listing to the legislature? If these questions ask are not follow then so-called CPP wasting their resources and energy at the Supreme Court. The name CPP should have been removed before going into the case Madam Chief Justice.
So-called CPP lawyer need to read the law with reasoning then going to the Supreme Court. Has LISGIS published the final listing or do NEC presented the listing to the legislature? If these questions ask are not follow then so-called CPP wasting their resources and energy at the Supreme Court. The name CPP should have been removed before going into the case Mada Chief Justice.