December 8 Elections Uncertain!-As Supreme Court Upholds Writ Of Mandamus

By: Judicial Correspondent

Liberia-October 26, 2020-WTVNEWS: The holding of the Special Senatorial Elections slated for December 8, 2020, remains Unsetting as the Commission is upholding a writ of Mandamus from the Supreme Court of Liberia.

Mulbah S. Jackollie who was denied participation in the pending on grounds of not taking his passport size photo, 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.

The Supreme Court confirmed the alternative writ of mandamus as well as granted the peremptory writ and mandated the NEC to revert to accord Jackollie due process in accordance with the law. This means 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 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 high court cannot take in 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 by outrightly rejecting Jackollie’s complaint without a hearing, NEC deprived the chambers and the Supreme Court of the requisite records for a review of the case.

The Court furthered that 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 absence of a hearing even though the court saw Jackollie’s medical report and other supporting documents.

The Supreme Court indicated that NEC had legal duty to protect all the candidates’ constitutional rights 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.”

As it stands, the Collaborating Political Parties also have 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 being speculated 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 prohibit the National Elections Commission from conducting the National Referendum on December 8, 2020, as mentioned.

All of these ailments might to some extend delay processes leading to the December 8, 2020 poll. It may also be difficult for the Commission to meet up with the timetable of the special election due to the short time frame of less than one month –one week.

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