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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid