Election Calendars Tumultuous, Tedious

By: R. Joyclyn Wea

MONROVIA-The Supreme Court of Liberia has termed the Election Calendars in Liberia as tumultuous and tedious in the history of the  Court, thus threatening to throw out any election-related matter that lacks merit.

The Supreme Court noted that “even in these quiet moments, the storms of election cases or challenges are quietly brewing and gathering strength at the National Elections Commission and elsewhere, and are preparing to dash upon the shore of the Supreme Court’s dockets like a monstrous wave.”

Sie-A-Nyne G. Yuoh, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court,  has meanwhile cautioned all Political Candidates that if their Lawyers fail to perfect their appeals, the Supreme Court, via a motion from the opposing parties, will dismiss their case, and if the said case is shrouded with mere allegations, speculations, and doubts, rather than evidence, the Supreme Court will reject their claims.

Be that as it may, the Chief Justice indicated that the Supreme Court, like a light tower, in the midst of a storm, is well fortified and judicially poised to hear and dispose of all and any election disputes, regardless of the magnitude or underlying currents.

“We are resolved to dispense justice evenly without fear or favor.

She added, “All we ask is that party-litigants, political parties, or independent candidates safeguard themselves with the best and astute Lawyers who will exert their very best in prosecuting or defending a candidate or political party’s interests.”

This instruction is in consonance with the Supreme Court’s opinion which states: “It is incumbent on a candidate in an election to ensure that he or she has in place a qualified legal team so that in the event, he or she believes that an election violation has occurred, he or she would be in the position to adequately take advantage of the law, especially with the time-frame prescribed by the law for asserting a challenge and timely appealing from any decision related to the challenge since electoral challenges are special proceedings which must be heard expeditiously.”

“As the elections draw closer, let it be known that this bench will only be moved by strong and convincing evidence and not political ideologies, crowds or the recently created political slang of strongholds,” she warned.

Justice Yuoh: “This Supreme Court has consistently held that “the concept of a candidate claiming ‘stronghold’ over a particular election geographical locale, finds no factual or legal basis in a judicial proceeding as it is completely doubtful, uncertain, and speculative in that on the electorates via their valid votes cast can determine whether or not a candidate being widely influential within a particular locale.”

She mentioned that the allegation being speculative and uncertain is untenable as voting in elections within the country’s jurisdiction is done by secret ballot citing the Liberia Reconstruction Party versus NEC, Supreme Court Opinion October Term A.D. 2011; Koah Versus Domah and NEC, Supreme Court opinion October term 2017 and the Collaborating Political Parties versus NEC, Supreme Court Opinion 2020.

“We will continuously uphold this principle of law in deciding elections cases and will confirm or reject election results based upon evidence and nothing more, all of which is in consonance with our creed which states: “The law makes no distinction between men when before it; the high and low here are both on an equal level. The law, while just, has no sympathy; it neither makes men rich nor poor; hence the claim to be rich can have no influence with it; and to plead poverty can awaken no sympathy.”

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