The Board of Commissioners (BOC) of the National Elections Commission rules in two electoral dispute cases, declaring Senators- Elect, Simeon B. Taylor of Grand Cape Mount County and Augustine S. Chea of Sinoe County winners, respectively from the 8 December 2020 Special Senatorial Election held in both counties.
However, lawyers representing challenger Victor Watson of the governing Coalition of Democratic Chnage led by Cllr. Salibu Sessay has taken an appeal before the Supreme Court of Liberia, challenging the NEC’s decision Grand Cape Mounty, while lawyers representing challenger Grace Scotland Brimah, led by Cllr. Yafar Baikpeh has announced an appeal to the Supreme Court during its October term of court against the Board’s ruling in Sinoe County. Both appeals were granted by the head of the Administrative Court as a matter of law.
At the same time, Independent Candidate Steve Tequah from the Special Senatorial Election in Rivercess County has withdrawn has complaint against Senator-elect, Wellington Geevon-Smith thus, making way for the certification of Geevon-Smith as Senator of Rivercess County, officially.
The Certification Committee of the NEC has been mandated by the Chairperson of the Commission to work out all modalities leading to the time and date for the certification of Senators-Elect Simeon B. Taylor and Augustine S. Chea.
Reading the Board’s verdict, Cllr. Ernestine Morgan Awar said, complainant Victor Watson of the Coalition for Democratic Change, failed to prove the poll was marred by widespread fraud and irregularities or showing that several persons voted twice, including electoral violence, inflation of votes in the tally center by NEC Magistrate and voting by Senator-elect Simeon Taylor as well as transporting voters.
In the NEC’s ruling on Sinoe County read by its Clerk Fofee Sheriff, the Board said the Hearing Officer did not err because complainant Grace Brimah failed to prove fraud and irregularities during the hearing.
The case grew out of the action elections irregularities and fraud, in the case the opposition Collaborating Political Parties, by and through its Sinoe county Chairperson Thomas Treason and Secretary General Ansu Kamara versus the NEC as first respondent, and Mr. Augustine S. Chea, as second respondent.
All seven members of the Board of Commissioners, including the head of the Administrative Court, Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah, Co-chairperson Cllr. P. Teplah Reeves, Commissioners Boakai A. Dukuly, Folyd Oxley Sayor, Cllr. Ernestine Morgan Awar, Barsee Leo Kpangkai and Josephine Kou Gaye unanimously signed the ruling on Thursday, 25 March 2021. Editing by Jonathan Browne