Lawyers representing the governing Unity Party and the opposition Liberty Party have filed an appeal, seeking the recusal of the Chairman of the National Elections Commission, Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya, from their filed before the NEC board of commissioners.
UP lawyer and former Justice Minister Cllr. Benedict Sannoh, and Cllr. Powo Hilton of the LP content Chairman Korkaya’s earlier statement that the pieces of evidence produced by the two political parties is nothing but fake undermines his neutrality.
The lawmakers argued Wednesday, 22 November at the NEC headquarters that the statement has already undercut the grounds of confidence and on such basis it is very necessary that the chairman steps aside to allow the investigation on.
According to them, failure of Chairman Korkoya to recues himself, they would return to the Supreme Court to seek another legal redress.
On Monday, November 20, the NEC Hearing Officer ruled that the pieces of evidence and witnesses produced by both parties in their joint claim of fraud and irregularities are not sufficient to seek a rerun of the October 10 Presidential election.
The parties are challenging the results of the 10 October poll, citing widespread fraud and irregularities. The LP in particular is calling for a re-run of the entire poll. Its leader, Cllr. Charles Brumskine came 3rd in the poll with 9.8 percent of the total votes cast, while the UP with over 28 percent, had been scheduled for a runoff with former soccer star turned politician George Weah, but the Supreme Court placed a prohibition to the runoff, pending full investigation.
On November 1, at a press conference, Chairman Korkoya described the complaints and evidence submitted by the Unity Party and the Liberty Party to the commission as fake, lacking substance.
He contended that claims by political parties that ballot papers were buried in Grand Gedeh County and other parts of the country and later discovered by them, are fake and systematic lies.
The BEC boss continued that purported ballot papers displayed by the political parties are simple ballot papers brought in the country during the voters and civic education period, intended to teach voters how to vote.
Meanwhile, the board of commissioners is expected to look into the parties’ appeal today, November 23 at the NEC headquarters. It is not clear whether Chairman Korkoya will abide by the request for his recusal.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne