Liberia: National Elections Commission Qualifies ANC’s Candidate in Cape Mount Senatorial By-election despite Party’s Withdrawal

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MONROVIA – The National Elections Commission (NEC) has enlisted Mr. Simon B. Taylor as a candidate for the pending senatorial by-election in Grand Cape Mount County, despite his withdrawal from the process by his political party, the Alternative National Congress (ANC).

According to the ANC, its decision to withdraw Simon B. Taylor form the senatorial by-election in Grand Mount County was to continue its commitment to the Collaborating Political Parties in order to collectively “rescue our country from the poor leadership of the CDC in 2020 and 2023”. 

“We understand the disappointment and frustration this decision will cause Simeon and his family, our partisans and sympathizers; but call on all of you to accept this sacrifice for the sake of the country,” the ANC said in a statement a fortnight ago.

However, recent unfolding shows that other members of the collaborating opposition bloc do not differ with the ANC on its motive, not even Taylor who was withdrawn from the race by the ANC.

This puts the fate of the opposition bloc on future elections at stake as pundits have started questioning their ability to stick together on the candidates for the Cape Mount Senatorial By-election.

Speaking on OK FM, a local FM station in Liberia, Taylor said his decision to remain in the race is based on Section XVII of the NEC laws that provides that withdrawal of a nominee is contingent on two bases: that the nominee’s withdrawal must be done concomitantly by both the nominee and the party, coalition or alliance and that the withdrawal must be done not more than seven days after the nomination.

According to him, none of these conditions were met by the ANC.

The National Elections Commission (NEC) on Tuesday announced that it has accepted seven candidates to participate in the senatorial By-election in Grand Cape Mount County. 

The seven candidates include two females and one independent. 

The candidates are: Mathew Darblo of the Vision for Liberia Transformation (VOLT), Kula Fofana of the Coalition for Liberia’s Progress (CLP), Daoda Metzger, an independent candidate, Simeon Taylor of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Dabah Varplah of the Unity Party, Victor Watson of the People’s Unification Party (PUP), and Sando Wayne of the Untied People’s Party (UPP).

The Grand Cape Mount By-election comes as a result of the death of Senator Edward Dagoseh who died recently. The By-election is scheduled for Saturday October 5, 2019.

Meanwhile, The ANC has expressed disappointment over the decision of the National Elections Commission (NEC), rejecting ANC’s request to withdraw its candidate, Simeon B. Taylor, from the Grand Cape Mount County senatorial by-elections.  The NEC announced its rejection decision today through its Chairman, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, at a meeting with the ANC, followed by a written communication to the ANC stating that the NEC “found no supporting provisions in the elections law to grant ANC’s request.”

In its decision, NEC said it has declined ANC’s request to withdraw Mr. Taylor because Mr. Taylor has refused to consent and sign the withdrawal form. NEC said the elections law requires the consent of the candidate before a withdrawal is effected. 

“ANC aggressively disagrees and objects to NEC decision and interpretation of the law, and is exploring legal options to contest the decision. ANC says it cannot be forced to sponsor and field a candidate it no longer supports,” the ANC said in its press release.

Meanwhile, ANC strongly condemns the action of its partisan, Mr. Simeon Taylor, for disrespecting the party’s decision to have him withdrawn. The ANC will not support Mr. Taylor in the by-elections, and will institute punitive action against him, consistent with the party’s constitution. 

ANC says it remains committed to the unity of the Collaborating Political Parties, and will support the candidate endorsed by the CPP.

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