Liberia: Elections Commission Confirms Simeon Taylor’s Cape Mount Victory, But…
MONROVIA – The National Elections Commission, (NEC) on Monday reaffirmed and confirmed the ruling of its Hearing Officer, declaring Mr. Simeon B. Taylor, Senator-elect of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) as the winner of the 8 December 2020 Special Senatorial Election conducted in Grand Cape Mount County.
The NEC Board of Commissioners (BOC), on 19 July 2021, through its Chairperson, Madam Davidetta Browne Lansanah following the ruling, instructed the Certification Committee of NEC-Liberia, with immediate effect to go ahead with all necessary modalities leading to the certification of Simeon B. Taylor as Senator-elect of Grand Cape Mount County.
However, the process will delay because the legal team of the Complainant, Victor Watson, of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led by Cllr. Sheik Salibu Sesay accepted the ruling and announced an appeal to the Honorable Supreme Court of Liberia.
In the BOC ruling, read by Commissioner Cllr. Ernestine Morgan Awar, the Administrative Court said, the complainant Victor Watson filed to prove by the preponderance of the evidence the allegations of double registration and voting, pre-marked ballots, stopping of his party agents by mobs of Simeon Taylor from entering voting centers and the forging of signatures of his party agents on the record of the count.
The BOC, through Commissioner Morgan Awar said, the Hearing Officer Atty. Fumba Swaray did not err to dismiss and deny the action of the appeal of fraud and irregularity filed by Victor Watson, who witnesses failed to identify any record of the count that signatures of their party agents were forged or did any witness testify to the issue of pre-marked ballots as alleged during the hearing.
On the allegations that Simeon Taylor double registered and voted in Lofa Bridge and Tawh Polling places, and that relatives of Mr. Taylor listed in the Final Registration Roll, FRR were the same that were listed in the FRR in Tawh, Cllr. Morgan Awar said the Board of Commissioners agrees with the Hearing Officer that the plaintiff, Victor Watson failed to produce sufficient evidence by the preponderance of evidence to overturn the result in the Cape Special Senatorial Election.
The case grew out of the action of an appeal, electoral fraud, and irregularity filed by Honorable Victor V. Watson, Candidate of the CDC, as Complainant versus the National Elections Commission, the first respondent and Mr. Simeon B. Taylor of the CPP as the second respondent.
All seven members of the Board of Commissioners heard the Grand Cape Mount County appeal case, but only the Co-Chairperson of NEC, Cllr. P. Teplah Reeves did not sign the ruling.