Liberia: Hearing Officer Denies Edith Gongloe-Weah Re-run, Re-count in Nimba Senatorial Election

MONROVIA – The National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia has denied and dismissed Madam Edith Gongloe-Weh complaint due to lack of substantial evidence.

On Monday February 22, 2021, the Hearing Officer adjudicating the Edith Gongloe-Weh Fraud case against NEC, Cllr. Bokai Harris told all parties and visitors at the hearing that Madam Edith Gongloe –Weh did not produce sufficient evidence as to her complaint of Fraud and elections irregularities during the just ended Senatorial elections in Nimba County between she and her arrival senator-elect Jeremiah Koung.

Delivering his ruling he noted that in an election complain, the complainant have the right to produce as many evidences in support of his or her allegation, and such evidence must tend to establish the Fraud alleged or the irregularities of the complaint.

“We will like to be clear here, that the evidence adduced by the complainant (Edith) herein was not substantive and did not established that our findings from these investigations is sufficient to alter the outcome of the election for re-run, re-count or referendum,” he added. 

NEC hearing officer based his ruling on the 2017 election case involving Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine and NEC.

He further noted that the burden of proof rest upon the person making the allegation and such evidence must always be produced beyond reasonable doubt.

Addressing the second issue in his ruling as to Whether or Not the complainant filed any complaint and whether the complainant party established any legal basis for grounds or rerun in Nimba County, he answered in the negative.

Cllr. Harris further stated that, the testimonies and evidence produced by Madam Gongloe-Weh did not proof fraud and any basis for re-run or recount.

Reading further he said, the expert witnesses who testified during the hearing said the elections laws of Liberia must be proof of the following: “Re-run, that why elections were to be held, there was a particular event that made it impossible for election to be held, that there was proving massive Fraud and Irregularities during the conduct of elections and that this proving massive Fraud was widespread throughout the length of electoral constituents and elections was not held,’ he added.

However, during Edith production of evidence there were no evidence to show irregularity in the counting and or that the result was misinterpreted to the disadvantage of her or that some of the ballots were not counted and some of the ballots was wrongfully discarded or to warrant a recount.

 Meanwhile, Madam Gongloe announced an appeal to the Board of Commission which is expected to give speedy result and will await the Supreme Court to lay the matter to rest if there be any appeal coming from the Board of NEC.

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