Liberia’s Supreme Court has finally ordered the National Elections Commission or NEC to certificate two senators-elect, Cllr. Varney Sherman of Grand Cape Mount and Bomi County’s Morris Saytumah, climaxing more than a month long legal battle with their defeated colleagues.
In its first opinion handed on Tuesday, February 10, 2015, the court found that the counsel for the former ruling National Patriotic Party’s defeated senatorial candidate, Lahai Lasana of Bomi County, abandoned his case against Mr. Saytumah, while in the case involving Cllr. Sherman of Cape Mount, his contender Dr. Fody Alhaji Kromah, claimed he was no longer pursuing his case due to plea from his kinsmen.
The court has meanwhile lifted its stay order imposed against the NEC, dismissed the alternative and pre-emptory writs of prohibition issued against the Commission regarding petitions separately filed by Mr. Lasana and Dr. Kromah, and ruled that the winning candidates be certificated and given their full entitlements.
Of the 15 newly elected senators, at least three had not taken offices after their contenders secured writs of prohibitions from the nation’s highest court to prevent their certification by the NEC, while protests also erupted against the certification of few others, including Maryland’s Gble-bo Brown.
The Supreme Court is expected this Thursday, 12 February to additionally make decision into similar election related complaints filed by defeated senatorial candidates that may include Maryland County’s incumbent Representative, Dr. Bhofal Chambers’ case and Margibi’s defeated candidate Professor Ansu Sonni.
Both men are members of the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change, among others.
Dr. Chambers has been challenging the NEC’s declaration of Senator Brown as winner with a contested 76 votes margin amid Chamber’s claim to have suffered “de-validation” of 85 votes cast in his favor; while Professor Sonni also challenges senator-elect, Mr. James Tonolah over alleged electoral irregularities.
By Winston W. Parley