Monrovia – The National Elections Commission (NEC) Thursday held hearings on a Motion for Compulsory Joiner filed by lawyers representing the legal interests of the Unity Party and Liberty Party in the case Charles Walker Brumskine and Harrison Karnwea Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates of the Liberty Party versus The National Elections Commission (NEC).
UP became party to the case after the Board of Commissioners of NEC on Monday granted it the opportunity to intervene after an appeal was filed to intervene in the LP’s complaint after it had been earlier thrown out by the Hearing Officer.
Compulsory Joinder refers to the necessary joinder of a party. In certain situations, the state brings multiple charges in a single prosecution unless the circuit court determines that the interests of justice require a separate trial.
On Thursday Cllr. Varney Sherman, on behalf of the UP legal team, prayed that the presiding officer grant the Motion for Compulsory Joinder because if not, parties involved could delay the process at the level of the Supreme Court when the NEC shall have ruled.
Cllr. Sherman claimed that the 20 political parties are parties of interest that should be compulsorily involved in the case and if for any reason they are not interested they should make their intent clear on the records.
In other arguments on behalf of the defending counsel, Cllr. Musa Dean argued that the on-going hearings are administrative hearings that are not subject to court technicalities. He also prayed the Presiding officer to dismiss the intervener’s motion of compulsory joinder.
Cllr. Dean also claimed that the call for Compulsory Joinder has no positive impact on the case but one that is intended to delay the electoral process. He said those named by the interveners have made no request to be included in the on-going case.
While ruling is pending for Friday November 10, 2017 the UP legal team has filed a bill of exception to the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission for a request for subpoena denied by the Hearing Officer.