High court decision against ruling party inundates Liberian media

Monrovia, Liberia (PANA) – Liberian newspapers were Monday awash with banner headlines on a decision by the Supreme Court denying the ruling Unity Party (UP) request for the intervention of the court in a matter with the National Elections Commission (NEC).

The court turned down the petition from the UP on Friday, asking it to hold the electoral body in contempt for failing to respond to a request for the NEC to provide certain information the party wanted.

The court also denied the UP demand for the NEC to make available to it a number of documents the party said would assist it prove its case of irregularities and fraud allegedly committed by NEC during the 10 October election.

The documents include the Final Registration Roll (FFR), its addenda, ad copies of the worksheets of the presiding officers at centres where there were alleged fraud and irregularities, among other items.

But the Supreme Court, in its ruling read by Associate Justice Jamesetta Wolokollie, said it could not grant the ruling party’s request because the Liberian Constitution provides 30 days after an election for the NEC to rule in complaints.

The 30-day provision expires on 23 November.

But the local media had a field day with what one paper called a “Victory for the rule of law” in its editorial, citing the decision as a boost for democracy and strengthening of the independence of the judiciary, one of the three branches of the government – Executive (presidency); Legislature (parliament) and the Judiciary.

“Go wait for 30 Days,” said 'Daily Observer', while 'The Independent' wrote “Supreme Court Denies UP Bill of Information and 'The Insight' said “UP suffers setback at the Supreme Court.”

'New Dawn' reported “Supreme Court denies UP’ request”, and 'The News' said UP gets Legal Blow,” while 'The Women Voices' headline was “Supreme Court denies Unity Party’s Request To Hold NEC in Contempt.”

One paper opined that the UP’s move to seize the Supreme Court on the matter was a “clear and obvious” plan aimed at delaying the investigation as the UP lawyers were no doubt aware of the constitutional provision on the time frame for NEC to dispose of electoral issues.
-0- PANA PTK/AR 20Nov2017

20 november 2017 18:06:13

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