The board of commissioners of the National Elections Commission begins hearing into a bill of exception filed by the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) against the recent ruling by the NEC hearing officer into an electoral fraud case in Montseerrado County District#15.
Candidate Telia Urey of the four collaborating opposition political parties filed an official complaint to the NEC after the 29 July by-election in District#15, alleging fraud in 20 polling places.
As a result of the complaint, the NEC quarantined results from the disputed polling places and announced provisional results from the rest of the voting precincts in the district, which gives Candidate Telia Urey 42.68 percent, ahead of the governing CDC Candidate Abu Kamara’s 41.48 percent.
After hearing from both parties, the NEC hearing officer last week called for a rerun in the quarantined centers, but the ruling party excepted to the ruling and subsequently appealed to the board of commissioners.
In his ruling last week at the heavily guarded NEC headquarters in Monrovia, hearing officer Cllr. Munah Ville said Ms. Urey could not adequately provide pictorial evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that there were discrepancies.
The communication director at the National Elections Commission Henry B. Flomo, told OK Fm radio Tuesday that today’s hearing begins at 11:00 in the morning, and is open to the public.
He says the board will hear both parties to make a determination whether to up the ruling from the hearing officer or to sustain the appeal from the ruling CDC.
However, the appeal party has one more step under the law to go to the Supreme Court if it is still not satisfied.
In its exception, lawyers representing Candidate Abu Kamara pf the CDC argues that the hearing officer erroneously ignored and refused to consider certain relevant and material evidence adduced during the investigation as fact finder.
“Defendant say the said illegal, erroneous, prejudicial and bias ruling is a fit subject for a reversal because the evidence you disregarded have the tendency to change your holding on the questions of annulment of the aforesaid election result”, the lawyers wrote in the bill of exception filed Friday, August 16, 2019.
Meanwhile, the NEC announces that Candidate Nomination for the Grand Cape Mount County Senatorial By-election continues at the Commission.
Henry Flomo calls on aspirants to go to the Commission to pick up forms for the exercise, which he discloses ends 21 August.
He says the by-election has been scheduled for 5 October, which comes about following the death of Senator Edward Dagoseh in June as a result of protracted ailment. Story by Jonathan Browne