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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More