Monrovia - The hearing officer of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Cllr. John Wonseleay, has declared Mr. Saye Mianeh winner of Nimba County District #8.
Cllr. Wonseleay’s announcement was contained in a ruling handed down on Monday afternoon, which was welcomed at the headquarters of the National Elections Commission (NEC) with jubilation from Mianah and a group of supporters.
“Mianah is the hero of Nimba County District #8; this is the man who won the representative seat of the district,” Mianeh’s supporters, who lifted him on their shoulders said.
Following the end of the October 10, 2017 polls, Saye Mianeh, one of the representative candidates on the ticket of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), headed by Nimba County Senator Prince Johnson, claimed to have won the election over the incumbent lawmaker Larry Younquoi with 19 votes outside of NEC’s official pronouncement
The result was, however, protested by the incumbent lawmaker Larry Younquoi, who called for a re-count of the votes after accusing some of the poll workers to be supporters of candidate Mianeh of manipulating the process.
NEC agreed to do the re-counting citing that there was an election law that whenever there is a winning margin of than 50 and there is a contention among the two front candidates, there should be a re-count. After the re-count incumbent lawmaker Younquoi was declared a winner with 17 votes over Mianeh.
Mianeh, not satisfied with the recount result, filed a complaint with the NEC hearing office indicating that it was illegal for NEC to have carried out a re-count because the 2011 referendum does not called for re-count in this case but a simple majority rule for any candidate, who has the highest votes over his closest rival in a representative election except for the election for a president or vice president.
After the hearing and his final ruling on Monday, December 11, 2017, NEC hearing officer Cllr. John Wonsehleay stated that the re-count law was only applicable for the 2005 election and not 2017 and that the Constitution provides that any law that violates the Constitution is null and void.
“Having followed the procedure for complaint in the laws that guide the election laws of October 10, 2017, the decision of re-count carried out by NEC in the election where Saye Mianeh earned 19 votes over his closed rival Larry Younquoi is null and void and result from the October 10 polls is upheld and restored,” hearing officer John Wonseleay, said while lawyer representing incumbent lawmaker Younquoi announced an appeal to NEC Board of Commissioners.