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S/Court halts Gbarpolu election results

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Associate Justice presiding in Chambers of the Supreme Court of Liberia Madam Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh has ordered the National Elections Commission (NEC) to halt all actions, pronouncement or announcement on election from affected area (s) of Gbarpolu County, pending the hearing and decision of the complaint filed before the county’s Elections Magistrate.

Last week election was rerun in a border town of Nomodatahum, Gbarpolu County District #3, near Sierra Leone after it had been stalled for weeks due to election violence caused by a Clan Chief who unleashed a Traditional Devil on Election Day, 8 December 2020.

“By directive of Her Honor Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh, Associate Justice presiding in Chambers, you are hereby informed to stay all actions/or pronouncement or announcement on the election of the affected area (s) of Gbarpolu County, pending the hearing and decision of the complaint filed before the Elections Magistrate of Gbarpolu County, up to and including the hearing and disposition of appeal by any party even up to the Supreme Court,” the order dated 8 January reads.

Prior to the court’s order, the rerun had already been conducted last week, pending pronouncement of official results when the process was then halted by the court. However unofficial reports appear to project Madam Kanneh to have maintained her lead over her rival Rep. Alfred Koiwood, though official results are pending the outcome of the election case.

The ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) on behalf of its senatorial candidate Rep. Alfred Koiwood filed the petition before the Supreme Court for the writ of prohibition against the NEC.
The election violence emerged in Gbarpolu after angry youth acting on the instructions of the Clan Chief stormed voting centers on Election Day, 8 December and took away the boxes containing ballot papers and other voting materials.

Reports of voters’ intimidation flared with many locals reporting the presence of a traditional (country) devil ordered in town by the Clan Chief, a diehard CDC supporter, which prevented many people from accessing the town.

In December, delegates of the main opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) including the party’s head of secretariat Cllr. Aloysious Toe were arrested by state security officers in Gbarpolu County, amid continuing electoral violence that had stalled the senatorial election led by female independent candidate Gbotoe Kanneh.

The CPP said its delegation got arrested and detained beyond statutory period when it traveled to the county on a fact – finding mission to possibly lend technical support to Madam Kanneh. By Winston W. Parley

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