Liberia: Supreme Court Associate Justice Yuoh Halts Further Proceedings on the Re-run of the Gbarpolu Senatorial Election

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Monrovia – Supreme Court Associate Justice presiding in chambers, Justice Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh, has issued a stay order on the National Elections Commission (NEC) from further conducting re-run of the just ended senatorial election in Gbarpolu County.

Associate Justice Yuoh issued the stay order on Friday, January 8, 2021 after a conference with the parties, Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the NEC.

“By directive of Her Honor Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh, Associate Justice presiding in chambers, you are hereby informed to stay all actions/or pronouncement or announcement on the election of the affected area(s) of Gbarpolu County, pending the hearing and decision of the complaint filed before the Elections Magistrate of Gbarpolu County, up to and including the hearing and disposition of appeal by any party even up to the Supreme Court,” Justice Yuoh ordered.

Associate Justice Yuoh decision to issue a stay order on the already conducted re-run of the just ended Senatorial election in the county (Gbarpolu County) grew out of a nine-count petition filed to the high court on Monday, January 4, 2021 by the ruling CDC against the NEC.

However, prior to the issuance of the stay order, the NEC had already conducted the re-run of the election in the county (Gbarpolu County).

In the petition, the CDC alleged that there were allegations of voters’ fraud, election violence, and irregularities that marked the just ended senatorial election in the county, which requires action and precautionary decision by the NEC to avoid future irregularities, voters’ fraud and election violence.

“The petitioner most respectfully requests your Honor and the Honorable Supreme Court to issue a Stay Order, restrain, enjoin, and prohibit the Respondent (NEC) from conducting re-run in Gbarpolu County,” the CDC requested.

Base on the observation of these alleged missteps, the CDC said it filed a formal complaint before the NEC Assistant Magistrate in Gbarpolu County, Willie Sumo for action.

 The CDC also alleged that while the complaint was pending before Magistrate Sumo, its (CDC) also filed a motion for the change of venue to have the complaint transfer to the national headquarters of the NEC in Monrovia.

But the CDC alleged that since the complaint and the Motion for Change of Venue were filed before Assistant Magistrate Sumo, he had failed to assign the case.

“Petitioner filed a summary proceeding before the Board of Commissioners headed by Co-Respondent, Madam Davidetta Brown-Lansana to prohibit and correct the illegal conduct of the Magistrate in Gbarpolu County.”

Petition adds: “Petitioner filed a Motion for Stay Order on the conduct of the Election in Gbarpolu County pending the determination of the case, but Respondent (NEC) had failed to conduct a hearing on the motion filed and issue a stay order.”

The petition further alleged that while the petitioner’s (CDC) complaint, Motion for Change of Venue, Summary Proceeding, and Motion for Stay Order on the conduct of the election in Gbarpolu County are pending before the respondent (NEC), the Respondent had ordered a re-run and conduct of election in the county for Thursday, January 7,2021 and is presently engage in the mobilization of its officials for the conduct of the election.

Moreover, the CDC said that the action of the NEC was a clear violation of its right to due process under the Constitution of Liberia.

“Wherefore and in view of the forgoing, the Petitioner prays Your Honor and this Honorable Supreme Court to grant the petitioner’s petition for the Writ of Prohibition, issue a Pre-emptory writ to stay all Order proceedings and subsequently issue an alternative writ against the Respondent, and grant further all other reliefs that are just and legal to the petitioner,” Petition adds.

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