Runoff Or Rerun
-Supreme Court Hears Arguments Today
The Full Bench of the Supreme Court Liberia is expected to hear arguments in the Liberty Party and collaborating parties’ election fraud case against the National Elections Commission (NEC).Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine of the Liberty Party is at the head of four parties, including the ruling Unity Party of incumbent Vice President, Joseph N. Boakai; former Coca-Cola Executive, Alexander Cummings of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) and Businessman, Benoni Urey of the All Liberian Party (ALP) who are protesting results of the October 10, 2017 presidential and legislative polls.
According to them, the elections were characterized by “massive systematic fraud and irregularities” and are calling for the rerun of the entire elections.
NEC’s hearing officer and Board of Commissioners recently ruled against the disgruntled parties for failure to exhibit evidence sufficient to overturn results of the October polls as being demanded by the parties.
Cllr. Brumskne who came third according to officials results released by the Commission said, he was cheated by NEC during the conduct of the polls; he ran to the Supreme Court for prohibition while NEC was looking into his alleged elections fraud complaint and at the same time preparing for a runoff election between the two parties that came first and second as per the results.
The High Court, however granted Cllr. Brumskine’s petition and placed a stay order on the planned runoff election until NEC concluded the alleged fraud case; the Court then sent the distressed Liberty Party Stander Bearer back to NEC for adjudication of the case.
But the ruling from NEC did not favor Cllr. Brumskine and his collaborators for their failure to produce sufficient evidence, according hearing officer and Board of Commissioners of the National Electoral Body.
Not satisfied with the ruling, the aggrieved parties led by the Liberty Party retuned to the High Court for final adjudication which is set for today; it is not clear what the ruling would be after the legal arguments; one decision is expected, however, ”rerun of runoff”.
Meanwhile, legal and political actors predict an unwarranted constitutional crisis if there would be a rerun.