NEC certificates James M. Kolleh
By Kruah Thompson
The National Elections Commission of Liberia (NEC) has certificated Candidate James M. Kolleh of the People’s Unification Party as winner of the November 16, 2021 by-election conducted in District #2, Bong County.
The electoral body’s decision comes after the Supreme Court of Liberia on February 1, 2021 ruling, which denied and dismissed all counts by Candidate Melvin Salvage of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), on grounds they were not concerned with overturning the NEC’s November 16, 2021 by-election results.
During the certification program held Friday, February 4, in the James M. Fromayan Conference Hall at the NEC Headquarters in Monrovia, Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah stated that the 2021 by-elections were successfully conducted on November 16, 2021, in Bomi, Bong, Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties, and that the Commission has certificated winners of District #1 Bomi; District #1 Nimba and District #1 Grand Gedeh, respectively.
However, according to her, the Commission was unable to certificate winner for Bong County District #2 by-election due to legal contestation against the election result. The matter, she noted, was heard by both the election Magistrate of Upper Bong County and the Board of Commissioners, and an appeal was taken to the Supreme Court of Liberia.
“I am pleased to inform you that the mandate was received by the Commission from the Honorable Supreme Court of Liberia, affirming the decision of the NEC that declared Honorable James M. Kolleh as winner of the Bong County District #2 by-election and the Commission should proceed with this certification”, the NEC Chairperson said.
“This certificate certified that James M. Kolleh has been duly elected Representative for Electoral District #2, Bong County, Republic of Liberia in the Legislative by-election held on November 16, 2021”, Madam Browne Lansanah said, while presenting the certificate.
The NEC assures the public of its commitment to conduct free, fair and transparent elections throughout Liberia as prescribed by law. The Commission expresses gratitude to the Government of Liberia for funds provided to conduct the 2021 by-elections. “We also thank all the parties and candidates that participated in these elections”, Chairperson Browne Lansanah adds.
In his response, Representative Kolleh applauded the staff of the NEC for work done, saying “I hope and pray that this team can continue to do excellent work as we go towards 2023 elections which he described as a critical time for the nation.
According to Representative Kolleh, he observed that during the by-election, some individuals had voters’ registration cards that were slightly different from the ones issued by the National Elections Commission. He expressed fear that if care is not taken in 2023, people will go ahead to duplicate more voters’ registration cards which he said does not auger well for the country’s democracy.
The Bong District #2 lawmaker, therefore, recommended to the National Election Commission to be vigilant during electoral processes across the country because the duplicated voter’s cards are almost similar to the ones issued by the Commission.
“I will also recommend to the National Legislature that in the event where people are caught in said dubious act we should not just let them go free but be prosecuted in order to save this country from further danger – electoral violence is not an attack to an individual but the country”, he said.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/nec-declares-kollie-winner-in-bong-county-by-election/ Editing by Jonathan Browne