GANTA, Nimba – Opposition party candidates from the representative race in Nimba’s eighth electoral district are taking cues from Liberty Party’s win at the Supreme Court in relation to their district election and recounting process.
The defeated candidates say they plan to file a formal complaint to the Supreme Court should NEC fail to consider their complaints of irregularities and fraud and proceed to announce incumbent lawmaker Larry P. Younquoi as the winner of the district’s seat in the just-ended recount process in Saclepea.
Their planned action comes just after the Supreme Court ordered NEC to investigate Liberty Party’s claims of fraud in the presidential elections before scheduling a runoff election.
“We know that the Supreme Court of Liberia is the final arbiter of justice in the country,” said Melvin S. Garpeh, a defeated People’s Unification Party candidate. “And so, we are gathering all of the necessary facts to take NEC to the Supreme Court if they don’t look into those issues of irregularities and fraud from the district election and go about announcing any winner from the district.”
Following the October 10 general elections, final preliminary results from the district put the Movement for Democracy of Reconstruction candidate, Saye Sylvester Mianah, ahead of his main rival and incumbent lawmaker of the district, Rep. Larry P. Younquoi. A total of 19 votes separated the two top contenders.
In this case, the elections law allows for a recount should there be a call for one by any of the candidates. Younquoi requested the recount, which took place from November 1 to November 4, with the final results posted showing the incumbent on top with 107 votes.
Garpeh, the PUP candidate, said the recount process needs to be investigated, and that NEC must consider launching the investigation into the matter as soon as possible in accordance with the law.
“NEC started the process of irregularities from the voter registration process all the way to the elections,” he said, “This is not about the recount process, but for a rerun of the election to be conducted in district eight.”
Another defeated candidate, Victor Doolakeh Taryor of the Victory for Change Party, who formerly served as administrator of the Ganta United Methodist Hospital, said he welcomed the move “but I have not received any communication about that, and the information has not come to my knowledge.”
He said while there were cases of irregularities and that the court remains the best option for grievances, he remains unsupportive of any of the candidates alleging “foul play.”
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah