The National Elections Commission Hearing Officer presiding over the electoral fraud case in Montserrado County Electoral District #15 calls for rerun of the poll in all 20 quarantined centers within 10 working days.
Candidate Telia Urey of the four collaborating opposition political parties filed a formal complaint to the NEC, alleging fraud following the July 29 by-election in the district.
The four collaborating parties including the ex-ruling Unity Party of former Vice President Joseph NyumahBoakai; Liberty Party of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, Alternative National Congress of former corporate executive Alexander Cummings, and All Liberian Party of businessman-turned politician Benoni Urey supported Mr. Abraham Darious Dillon, who won the Montserrado senatorial seat, and Ms Urey for District#15.
Provisional results released by the NEC places Ms Urey at 42.68 percent, ahead of CDC’s Abu Kamara, 41.48 percent.
In his ruling Wednesday, 14 August at the heavily guarded NEC headquarters in Monrovia, Hearing Officer Cllr. Munah Ville said Ms. Urey could not adequately provide pictorial evidences to prove beyond reasonable doubt, there were discrepancy.
The collaborating parties claimed about 15 polling places were tempered with and that observers were threw out while the counting of ballots were reportedly done by poll workers of the National Elections Commission.
But Candidate Abu Kamara of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change through his defense council, Atty. Kunkun Yon Wleh has filed a motion against the Hearing Officer’s ruling, seeking to take the matter before the NEC board of commissioners for “better legal redress.”
Cllr. Ville thanked all parties for their professional conduct and the speed at which they covered 18 witnesses overall during the short course of the hearings.
The hearings into the complaints, which affect 20 polling places in Montserrado District#15, started on August 7, 2019 at the NEC Headquarters.
Following the conduct of the By-election in the District on July 29, 2019, two of the seven candidates, Telia Urey of the ALP and Independent Candidate Bishop Frank, complained against the NEC for “several irregularities”, which they claim amounts to electoral “fraud”.
NEC immediately quarantined results from the affected 20 Polling places and launched an immediate investigation into the matter through its Hearing Office. Over the period of the hearings, the Petitioners, led by lead counsel LavalaSupuwood, presented 14 witnesses, while the Respondent, NEC, represented by Atty. TeegeJalloh, produced six witnesses. Jonathan Massaquoi was the lead counsel for the interveners.
The Petitioners’ 14 witnesses included candidates Telia Urey and Bishop Frank, while NEC’s six witnesses included its Data Center and Training Directors Floyd Sayor and James Wallace, respectively. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne