By Kruah Thompson
The Liberia National Police (LNP) has arrested protesters carrying banners that read, “NEC, please request the Supreme Court to review the case.”
The protest was held before the National Elections Commission headquarters in Sinkor, Monrovia on Friday, September 8, 2023, when a group of demonstrators converged and requested the Supreme Court of Liberia to reconsider its decision to deny Montserrado District#11 Representative Candidate, Thomas Tweh, locally known as ‘Original Countryman’.
The high court opinion upholds the NEC ruling that Candidate Tweh does not reside in the district that he seeks to represent as required by the election law.
Some aggrieved protesters are threatening to boycott the upcoming October 10 polls because of the disqualification of their leading Representative candidate, Thomas Nimene Tweh, by the Supreme Court of Liberia.
Last week, the Supreme Court ordered the National Elections Commission to invalidate Tweh’s candidacy on grounds that he was ineligible to contest following a domicile case filed against him by a rival Candidate, Siah Tandanpollie of the New Liberia Party.
A female, Candidate Tandanpollie argued that Tweh does not reside in District #11 whose seat he is contesting for, but rather in Montserrado District One.
As a result of the High Court’s ruling, which aligns with Article 30 (b) of the 1986 Constitution, Tweh’s supporters claim they are facing provocations and humiliation from their political rivals. Campaign flyers and banners for Tweh have been taken down by supporters of his political opponents.
Speaking to reporters during the protest, Christopher Neymar Vonziah, spokesperson for the aggrieved group disclosed that district residents are disheartened by the denial of their “choice” to exercise his political right to represent them.
He emphasized that the financial resources, energy, and efforts invested by hundreds of residents to support Tweh’s campaign and election have been wasted due to ruling by the Court.
He argued that the Supreme Court is contributing significantly to the country’s problems and that this is a matter that should warrant everyone’s attention.
He urged the international community, which has made substantial investments in the election, to intervene immediately.
According to him, the district will not be a place of peace and harmony because Tweh and his supporters are currently being provoked and humiliated by supporters of other candidates in the elections.
“We have been poorly represented for so long, and even though Tweh, or Original Countryman, is running as an independent candidate, you can see the thousands of supporters he has. If he doesn’t contest, the government should consider us out of the elections,” said Christopher.
Following the protest, which commenced at the Monrovia City Hall and later moved to the National Elections Commission headquarters on 9th Street Sinkor, Police swiftly intervened and arrested the demonstrators and took them to the National Police Headquarters on Capitol Hill.
The LNP has not responded yet, despite numerous attempts to contact Police spokesman Moser Carter. Editing by Jonathan Browne