What seems to appear that recent assertion by the Chairman of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Mr. Mulbah Morlue, that his part will not accept any ruling from the National Elections Commission (NEC) for a re-run in the just ended Montserrado County District 15 by-election seems to be gaining root with this latest incident in the district.
Addressing a news conference recently at the headquarters of the CDC, Chairman emotionally and aggressively vowed and called on his partisans to resist any attempt by the NEC for the conduct of any re-run in the district, noting, “It is unacceptable for NEC to announce a rerun at the six polling places where opposition candidate Urey was defeated,” Morlue challenged.
Observers believed the NEC should see reasons to invite the ruling party chairman under whose statements are said to have given rise to election violence in the district wounding several innocent citizens and threatening the life of an opposition candidate with property damaged.
According to report people believed to be supporters of the ruling party representative candidate who also a rival to Ms. Urey, Abu Kamara have allegedly carry out this act which led to the complete damage of Ms. Urey’s official vehicle, while she was held hostage alone with others in a nearby building during the riot, as the rioters threatened to harm her.
Following days of legal arguments and adjudication into electoral complaint filed by candidate Telia Urey in the recently-held Representative by-election in District #15 NEC Hearing Officer ruled on Wednesday that the elections body conduct a rerun at the six voting precincts which were quarantined as a result of the probe.
But, the CDC Chairman, who addressed a press conference at the party’s headquarter following the pronouncement by the NEC, opined that it was unacceptable for NEC to announce a rerun at the six polling places where he claimed opposition candidate Urey was defeated.
According to him, the pronouncement by the NEC officer to convene a rerun at the six precincts is not based on facts, accusing the body of wanting to disrupt the peace of the nation.
In the ruling the Hearing Officer, however, cited that the quarantined ballots in the possession of the Commission could have been tempered with considering that the Director of the NEC Data Center failed to give the exact time and date that the ballots were quarantined and how did candidate Abu Kamara’s total number of votes got reduced.
Based upon this and many other concerns arising from the investigation, the body mandated a rerun and not a recount of the affected places within 10 days as of the date of the ruling.
The co-respondents and interveners for Candidate Abu Kamara and CDC, following the ruling, accepted that the petitioners failed to prove their case but rejected the second part of the ruling which called for a rerun of the affected polling places.
Meanwhile, as per the legal procedure, intervening party (Abu Kamara/CDC) has an opportunity to appeal to the Board of Commissioners of the NEC, if deemed necessary.