Accept The Ruling
-Cllr. Tubman Urges Party Litigants
-As Supreme Court Rules
Tomorrow, December 7, 2017 is a D-day in Liberia. Almost every Liberian at home and abroad is on edge to greet an untold opinion expected to be released by the Supreme Court of Liberia. The pending ruling is moored on the current political impasse which is gradually dragging the country into the ring of an unwanted political and constitutional imbroglio, which many Liberians and international partners are considering to be repugnant to the peace and stability of the country that is still struggling to overcome the wounds of a 14 year civil hostilities; Anthony Selmah of our staff who spoke to a constitutional lawyer ahead of the ruling Reports.For more than one month now, Liberians have been languishing in the state of skepticism about the political future of the country; it all started when Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, Standard Bearer of the defeated opposition Liberty Party startlingly chose to protest the outcomes of the October 10, 2017 presidential and legislative polls, although he came third according to official results released by the National Elections Commission (NEC).
Cllr. Brumskine’s refusal to accept the result of the polls also attracted support from other three aggrieved political parties, including the ruling Unity Party (UP); the Alternative National Congress (ANC) and the All Liberian Party (ALP); in concert, they alleged that the polls were marred by “massive systemic fraud and irregularities” for which they are uncompromisingly calling for rerun of the entire elections, although they failed to prove their allegation at the NEC where they were provided opportunity to meet Hearing Officer and Board of Commissioners which is required under the law.
Initially, Cllr. Brumskine ran to the Supreme Court for a prohibition while his election fraud case was being investigated at the NEC; he pleaded with the court to compel NEC to adjudicate his case before conducting runoff elections which was scheduled November 7, 2017 between the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the governing Unity Party (UP). The High Court granted the petition and placed a stay order on the runoff but sent the aggrieved parties back to the electoral commission to adjudicate the case; however, the parties led by Cllr. Brumskine refused to accept decision from the NEC and returned to the High Court.
However, after hearing from all party litigants recently, including NEC in the fraud case, the Supreme Court is expected Thursday to come down with the final ruling which might likely settles the current political stalemate in Liberia. Runoff or rerun is expected to come out tomorrow, although many Liberians are predicting that a rerun could plummet the country into a constitutional crisis, which the international community is trying to foil but the aggrieved parties appear determined not to compromise anything.
Although it is not clear what the outcome of the ruling would be, one of Liberia’s constitutional lawyers and politicians, Cllr. Winston Tubman has called on leaders of the parties involved in the ongoing case to respect ruling expected from the Supreme Court. “Cllr. Brumskine did not do anything bad by going to the court with his disenchantment from the October 10, 2017 polls,’ Cllr. Tubman said. He made the appeal in an interview with this paper recently.
According to Cllr. Tubman, the court is a place people go to seek justice if they are disenchanted with issues rather taking the path of violence.
Cllr. Tubman contested the presidency in the 2005 on the ticket of the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL) and in 2011 on the ticket of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC). In 2011, he claimed cheated and called for recount of the results; his call followed NEC’s decision to withdraw initial result giving to the CDC on the basis that it was an error.
However, the refusal of NEC to recount the ballots prompted the CDC to withdraw from the 2011 runoff elections and incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became the lone candidate; Cllr. Tubman and the CDC bowed to national and international pressure and accepted the results.