GANTA, Nimba – A scheduled re-examination of tally sheets to resolve the electoral dispute in Nimba’s fourth district has met a setback after the incumbent representative, Garrison D. Yealue, said the National Elections Commission did not notify him on time.
On February 9, the Supreme Court had ruled in the district’s election dispute case, ordering NEC to re-examine ballot results at the Kpaglay Polling Center with the instruction that all parties be present for the process. The dispute is between Yealue and the other leading candidate, Gunpue Kargon. Kargon had initially won 6,326 votes while Yealue received 6,153 ballots cast in his favor and Yealue’s challenge led the case to the Supreme Court.
The elections magistrate for Upper Nimba, Preston Monmia, said the re-examination was postponed after Yealue said he would not be able to partake of the process if it were held on Monday, February 19, 2018. According to Monmia, this was because the incumbent lawmaker said he was not officially written to and that he was invited only via a telephone call. Instead, Yealue asked for the re-examination to be scheduled for Wednesday, February 21.
Monmia said he had already contacted NEC’s headquarters in Monrovia “and they agree with [Yealue’s] schedule, so by Wednesday, we will have the verification.”
Kargon’s representatives have also consented to the postponement, but expressed regret that the district will have to spend several more days without representation.
Sam G. Ta-Krah, speaking for Kargon, said the legal battles between the two candidates have been going on since November 2017 and that today should have seen the matter settled.
“District four was denied being part of the NEC Certification Ceremony,” he said. “Again, district four was denied being part of the speaker’s election and district four was denied being part of the official induction ceremony of members of the 54th Legislature.”
Ta-Krah said the prolonged legal disputes between Yealue and Kargon has, to some extent, impeded the operations of the Nimba County Legislative Caucus, which should have already held its elections.
Featured photo by Aaron Nah