December 8 Elections In Limbo?

– Supreme Court Places Stay Order On NEC

The National Elections Commission (NEC) is far from meeting up with the time table for the conduct of the December 8, 2020 special elections due to the different lawsuit and recent decision of the Supreme Court issuing a peremptory stay order on the NEC from publishing its final list of candidates until Mulbah S. Jackollie is given due process.

Mulbah S. Jackollie on October 5, 2020 filed a petition before the Justice In-Chamber of the Supreme Court for the issuance of the writ of mandamus against the national elections commission (NEC) for denying him to participate in the pending midterm election without a due process in keeping with law.

Previously; the NEC set December 8, 2020 for the conduct of the midterm senatorial, referendum and by-elections, but with the issuance of this stay order by the Supreme Court confirming the alternative writ of mandamus as well as granting the peremptory writ as prayed for by Jackollie could result to delay or rescheduled of the poll.

This implies that the stay order previously imposed on the publication of the NEC’s contestants’ roll remains in full force and effect pending a final determination of the matter.

The High Court further instructed the election house to conduct a hearing into the petitioner’s [Jackollie] complaint and make a determination relative to the situation at hand on grounds that the Honorable Court cannot take evidence which make it difficult to determine as to whether the petitioner was indeed late in submitting his application as claimed by NEC.

It mentioned out rightly rejecting Jackollie complaint without a hearing, NEC deprived the chambers and the Supreme Court the requisite records for a review of the case.

The court further it cannot confirm or deny the veracity of these documents neither can the court order the petitioner’s name placed or withheld from the respondent’s contestants’ roll in the absent of a hearing even though the court saw Jackollie’s medical report and other supporting documents.

The Supreme Court concord with Jackollie that NEC had legal duty to protect all the candidates’ constitutional right to due process, and to accord everyone a hearing consistent with the tenets espoused in Article 20 (a) of the constitution, opinion of the Supreme Court and the NEC regulation.

The law states “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, security of the person, property, privilege or any other right except as the outcome of a hearing judgment consistent with the provisions laid down in this Constitution and in accordance with due process of law. Justice shall be done without sale, denial or delay; and in all cases not arising in courts not of record, under courts-martial and upon impeachment, the parties shall have the right to trial by jury.”

Jackollie the court noted is entitled to a hearing and the respondent (NEC) has a legal duty to accord him [Jackollie] a transparent hearing to determine his eligibility to participate in the forthcoming senatorial elections.

The court mentioned that mandamus will lie to compel the National Elections Commission to conduct a hearing consistent with due process and thereafter make a determination as to whether there existed superseding factors to excuse the petitioner from September 21, 2020 deadline.

As it stands, the Collaborating Political Parties also has a case before the high court relative to the holding of the representative by-elections jointly with the senatorial midterm election and referendum.

It is also rumored that the CPP is also at the verged of filing another petition with the Supreme Court for the issuance of a writ of mandamus to prohibits the National Elections Commission from conducting the National Referendum on December 8, 2020 as mentioned.

These different cases or lawsuits may delay the activities leading to the December 8, 2020 poll as the commission might not as well meet up with this time table for the special election due to the short time frame.

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