Liberia: Ruling Coalition for Democratic Change Petitions Supreme Court to Issue Stay Order on NEC from Conducting Re-run in Gbarpolu County

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Monrovia – The ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has filed a nine-count petition at the Supreme Court, requesting the Justice in Chambers, Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh to issue a stay order on the National Elections Commission from conducting a re-run of the just-ended Senatorial election in Gbarpolu County.

The Petition was filed to the Supreme Court Associate Justice in Chambers on Monday, January 4, 2021 by the party’s lawyers, Cllr. Arthur T. Johnson and Cllr. Edwin G. Barquoi.

In the petition, the CDC alleged that there were allegations of voters’ fraud, election violence, and irregularities that marred 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,” excerpt of the petition.

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 Headquaters 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 order 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 is 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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