-Withdraws Notice of Appeal; As NEC To Announce Rerun Date Soon
International Law Group (ILG) representing candidate Abu Kamara of the CDC has withdrawn the Notice of Appeal announced following the ruling of the Board of Commissioners into the post District #15 By-election complaints.
According to a NEC release Sunday August 25, 2019, the Commission will shortly announce a date for the conduct of the rerun of the election in the 20 polling places following the withdrawal of the Notice of Appeal.
Five of the Seven Member Board of Commissioners of the NEC on August 22, 2019 affirmed the ruling of the its independent Hearing Chamber to rerun 20 of the 94 polling places in District #15, in Montserrado County. This followed hearings the previous day into the appeal filed by the legal team of candidate Kamara.
The Chairman of the Board, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, dissented the decision of his colleagues thus, did not sign the document. His Co-chair, Cllr. Sarah Toe, was the only absentee. The rest of the Board members signed the ruling.
One of the respondent’s lawyers Atty. Kunkunyon Wleh Teh, took exception to the ruling and announced they would appeal to the Supreme Court of Liberia in its October sitting. However, a letter, dated August 24, 2019, signed by candidate Kamara’s lawyers, Atty. Kunkunyon Wleh Teh and Cllr. Jonathan Massaquoi, has withdrawn the Notice of Appeal.
The communication, addressed to Chairman Jerome Korkoya, said, “We are pleased to notify you that our client has elected not seek a review of the August 22, 2019 ruling of the Board of Commissioners in the case above. Hence, with our client’s perto mission, we herewith submit the attached written instructions to form part of the record”.
This move has given the Commission the legal right to conduct the rerun of the election in the disputed Precincts (20 Polling places) in the District.
On August 14, 2019 the Head of the NEC independent Hearing Office, Cllr. Mauna Ville, after a week-long hearing that produced 19 witnesses in total (14 from the petitioners and 5 from respondent NEC), ruled in favor of a rerun in 20 polling places in the District. The respondent challenged the ruling and filed an appeal to the Board of Commissioners.
Meanwhile, as the Commission promptly prepares to conduct the rerun shortly, it is urging all parties, candidates, and supporters to avoid violence and conduct themselves in accordance with laws. NEC says it will work closely with all relevant institutions, especially the Liberia National Police for the smooth conduct of the rerun.