Court Halts Liberia’s Sports Writers’ Elections

Members of Liberia’s Sports Writers Association elections committee signing for the Writ of Injunction brought on the holding of the elections on Saturday, December 15

MONROVIA – The Civil Law Court has ordered the Writ of Injunction on the Sports Writers Association of Liberia’s (SWAL) election, which should have been held on Saturday, December 15, 2018.

Report by  Jaheim T. Tumu [email protected]

According to the Elections Committee, polls were 57 minutes from closing when an opposition party called Integrity Team of SWAL, filed the Writ of Injunction with the Civil Law Court in Monrovia.

The committee said the content of the petition filed by Integrity Team, headed by candidate Varmah Kamara, was mainly based on the conduct of the elections.

The committee members further said that they had sorted out a number of issues on Friday,  December 14, before the elections day on Saturday.

“We will let to inform you that at 3p.m. today, we received an injunction from the Civil Law Court putting an injunction on  the staging of the elections of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia,” the committee said.

“Members of the Integrity Team of SWAL, filed in a petition putting an injunction on the conduct of the elections. We were just 57 minutes before the close of polls. We had sorted out a number of issues on yesterday (Friday).”

“And we would have thought that everyone was happy but to our uttermost surprise, this is what happened.  So we are going to put a halt to the elections as per law. We want to be law abiding,” the elections committee said.

How the elections reached this point?

On Thursday, the Integrity Team held a press conference, raising numerous concerns to the elections committee, which it said it had sorted out on Friday. But those were the same concerns that surfaced in the writ.

Amongst qualms raised included the alleged infusion of the names of 11 “unqualified voters.”

During Integrity Team’s press conference, they further accused SWAL’s president Roland Mulbah of doing this alleged infusion of 11 names. According to them, this violates article 2, section 2i of SWAL constitution.

They further charged that the current leadership of Mulbah has intruded in the workings of the membership committee.

“It is the duty of the membership committee to come up with the member listing but we were shocked when we saw the list in Roland’s hands handling it to the elections commissioners.”

“In that process, there was a foul played. That is when the swapping of the eleven names  happened,” spokesperson of Integrity Team said.

They further stressed the leadership failed to setup an ad-hoc congress committee and didn’t distribute congress documents to the body 15 days prior to the SWAL elective congress as per their constitution.

What the Integrity Team of SWAL wants?

A supporter identified as Kerkulah Solon, who claimed that he had brought the Writ of Injunction, wants Roland Mulbah leadership to recuse itself and an interm body established to take SWAL to the elections.

Solon further said that they do not trust the leadership of the Press Union of Liberia, stressing that the elections should be presided over by a neutral body, preferably for them the Carter Center.

“ I am dissatisfied that Roland Mulbah and his surrogates have infused eleven names.”

“And we do not trust Charles Coffey.  We do not trust Octivin Williams, who is the head of allxullaries. As it stands we have a complain pending that we are going to take to the national media council that we do not trust the leadership of the Press Union of Liberia.”