News / Africa

Liberia's Elections Commission Sued Over Referendum Results

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid