News / Africa

Liberia's Elections Commission Sued Over Referendum Results

Multimedia

Audio
James Butty

The chairman of Liberia’s ruling Unity Party, Varney Sherman, has filed a lawsuit against the National Elections Commission (NEC) over the results of the August 23 referendum.

Voters defeated all four amendments, including Proposition 4 which states only the presidential election shall be determined by an absolute majority and that all other elections shall be determined by a simple majority.

Sherman has asked the Supreme Court to nullify Article 1.1 of the commission’s decree on endorsement of referendum results.

He said invalid votes should not have been counted in computing the final results.

“If we are successful, and that means that the Supreme Court declares that Article 1.1 of the July 21st, 2011 Resolution of the National Election Commission is invalid, null and void, then the invalid votes will not be computed in determining the results of the referendum," he said.

Hundreds of thousands of votes were thrown out as invalid, something elections commission chief James Fromayan told VOA was worrisome.

“When we started to investigate as to what was responsible for the massive invalid votes, we found out that some of the people just went and voted in both columns ‘Yes’ [and] ‘No,’ as if to say it was well-calculated to just swell the number of invalid votes,” Fromayan said.

Sherman said the commission counted both the valid and invalid votes cast in determining the results, which he said led to the defeat of the referendum.

“They were counted to form part of the total number of votes and, by doing so, they [the commission] declared that all of the propositions did not succeed.  And, they counted invalid votes for the ‘No’ candidate.  So, the ‘No’ candidate succeeded,” he said.

Asked why he did not protest against Article 1.1 of the Election Commission Resolution on Endorsement of Referendum Results prior to the referendum itself, Sherman said he was not aware of the resolution.

“First, I wasn’t aware of that resolution and, two, there was not a time limitation to complain against it,” he said.

Sherman, who is national chairman of the ruling Unity Party, rejected the suggestion that his lawsuit could be interpreted by some as an attempt by the ruling party to circumvent the will of the electorate.

“I thought you would applaud me for calling [to] the attention of the Supreme Court a violation of general principles of law.  You don’t suggest something like that to a lawyer that, because I went to court to address my grievance, I’m trying to circumvent the will of the people,” Sherman said.

He said he filed the lawsuit as a private citizen.

“I’m a citizen of the Republic of Liberia, and I’m a counselor of law at the Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia.  My rights as a citizen are not taken away from me because I’m the chairman of the ruling party,” Sherman said.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

China-India Border Standoff Continues as Leaders Hold Summit

New Delhi accuses hundreds of Chinese soldiers of illegally entering Indian territory in disputed region of Ladakh More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid