By: Staff Writer
Liberia-October 4, 2020-WTVNEWS: The Justice In-Chamber of the Supreme Court of Liberia has denied the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) petition for the writ of mandamus seeking to compel the National Elections Commission (NEC) to do a full cleaning of the 2017 Voter Roll (FRR).
Associate Justice Jamesetta Wolokollie late Friday, October 2, 2020, declined to grant the writ of mandamus as pray for by the CPP without stating any grounds as to her decision to deny the issuance of the said writ which the CPP believes is critical to Liberia’s peace and stability.
Earlier, CPP last Friday, September 25, 2020, filed a 29 counts petition before the Justice-In-Chamber of the High Court to descend on NEC to do the needful thing by cleaning up the Voters Roll, something they (CPP) say will bring about relief as well as the free, fair and transparent conduct of the December 8, 2020 elections.
Mandamus, under the Liberian law, is a special proceeding to obtain a writ requiring the respondent to perform an official duty. The writ is not a preventive remedy but is essentially a coercive writ, one that commands performance.
The parties maintained in their complaint that the conduct of the respondents in these circumstances presents a clear danger as it risks throwing the Country to violence and instability that could be avoided if NEC conducts a transparent, full, and comprehensive cleanup of the 2017 Voters Roll in close collaboration with political parties.
A credible Voters’ Roll, the CPP holds is an indispensable foundation for free, fair, and transparent elections and the exercise of democratic governance.
Where the voters roll, as in the instant case, is deliberately compromised through misfeasance, nonfeasance, and malfeasance by the entity constitutionally and statutorily responsible for the conduct of elections, the constitution is deliberately prevented, and the wholesome objectives and sacred underpinnings of our constitution and representative form of government are undermined, that’s according to the CPP writ.
The opposition group mentioned that cleaning the voter’s roll will cloth the process with credibility, accountability, and fairness and is in furtherance of chapter 1, article 1 of the 1986 constitution.
The Law states “All power is inherent in the people. All free governments are instituted by their authority and for their benefit and they have the right to alter and reform the same when their safety and happiness so require. In order to ensure a democratic government that responds to the wishes of the governed, the people shall have the right at such period, and in such manner, as provided for under this constitution, to cause their public servant to leave office and to fill vacancies by regular elections and appointments.”
The Parties termed this as unjust, cruel, and oppressive and has the tendency to undermine the smooth conduct of the mid-term elections, potentially incite chaos and violence and drag Liberia into another round of conflict reminiscent of the civil war days and only the supreme court can calm this stormy situation.
The CPP petition was to also ensure that the High Court mandates NEC and GOL to comply with the June 5, 2020, Joint resolution of the Legislature to clean the 2017 voters roll and as well comply with the recommendations spelled out in the ECOWAS Report.
This is the second time that the election house was being dragged to the Supreme Court on the same issue of fraud resulting from the VR.
Unlike 2017, a legal battle between the Liberty Party and that of the National Elections Commission which was termed as a landmark case, the CPP complaint was not given much audience or consideration even though a similar issue was raised by the late political leader of LP Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine was highlighted in the CPP petition for Mandamus.