The Chairperson of the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission announces here, the commission will not certificate any winner from the December 8, 2020 special senatorial election, until cases pending before the commission and the Supreme Court are cleared and finalized.
Speaking during a news conference Thursday, at the NEC headquarters in Monrovia, Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lassanah said NEC took the decision based on a precedence case in 2015, where the Supreme Court ruled that elections’ case shall be resolved before winners are announced.
She said the Supreme Court in 2015, in the case: Varney Sherman verses All, ruled that the Commission cannot certificate any winner whenever there is a dispute from the conduct of that election. And so, in keeping with the mandate of the Supreme Court, the Commission will not certificate the winners in these two counties until the matter is speedily disposed of.
There are ten senatorial and two by-elections cases before the Supreme Court and the National Elections Commission, meaning of the senatorial elections conducted in all 15 counties, the commission was able to freely and fairly handled five, while the rest of the ten and two-by elections are being challenged.
Commenting on the recount of ballots in River Cess County and re-conduct of the election in Grand Kru County, Madam Lassanah explains, “I am pleased to report that the re-count election conducted in 7 polling places in Rivercess County, as mandated in the ruling of the Board of Commissioners was successfully conducted on Saturday, 16 January 2021.Tally of results have been completed. We can now report that Rivercess County is one hundred percent completed.”
For River Cess County, former Journalist, Wellington Geevon Smith, an independent candidate, topped the poll total number of 3,302 votes, amounting to 23.34 percent, followed by Steve Tequah, another independent candidate with 3,248 votes, amounting to 22.96 percent, and incumbent Senator Dallas Gueh collected 2,149 votes, amounting to 15.19 percent.
In Grand Kru County where the rerun of election was conducted in some parts of the county, Numene Bartekwa, an independent candidate, got the total votes of 3,679, amounting to 22.83 percent; the Liberia National Union candidate Nathaniel Bahway, got 3,597, amounting to 22.32 percent and incumbent Senator Peter Coleman, ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, got 3,061 votes, raising his percent to 19.00.
“That re-run election was successfully conducted on Wednesday, 13 January 2021 in three precincts in Beloken Town Hall, Wakpo Public School and Boluwein Town Hall. Tally of the results for Grand Kru County is now one hundred percent complete,” she said.
Meanwhile, the commission has registered that the Liberia National Union of Nathaniel Blama has filed complaint against the re-run election in Grand Kru County and that the commission will look into the matter.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne