MONROVIA, Montserrado – The Supreme Court has ruled into the domicile case involving Montserrado’s sixth district representative, Edwin Snowe, clearing him to contest in Bomi’s first district.
Two Bomi lawmakers, Rep. Gayah Karmo and Sen. Sando Johnson, had filed a petition to the court against a ruling by the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission against their appeal to deny Snowe from contesting in the county.
Snowe, who has been a representative in Montserrado since 2005, registered to contest in the district currently represented by Karmo.
The two lawmakers have described Snowe’s action as being in contravention to the elections law.
However, the court, in its ruling on Tuesday, disagreed with the two lawmakers, deciding that there was no legal backing to support their claims.
According to the court’s opinion, there are no laws that prohibit one from contesting to be elected in one district while still representing another.
The ruling meanwhile ends a long legal challenge to Snowe’s candidacy in the Bomi Sinje district.
Karmo had earlier filed a complaint of objection to NEC against Snowe’s registration as a voter in Bomi. He called on the election body to delete Snowe’s name from the list of registered voters in the district and the county.
He argued that Snowe, as a sitting representative in Montserrado, with all legal entitlements and a domiciled member of Montserrado’s sixth district, was not eligible to register in Bomi. Moreover, he said it was against the law for a sitting representative seated until 2018 to contest in another district.
However, the commissioners overturned a recent ruling by its elections magistrate in Bomi barring Snowe from contesting in the county on the basis that he is not domiciled in the county.
According to their ruling, the commissioners said the objectors failed to provide counter witnesses to Snowe’s claim that he has domiciled in the district for nearly three years.
“In view of the foregoing, the appeal is denied and dismissed,” the commissioners ruled.
Earlier, NEC rejected Snowe’s bid to contest in Bomi’s first district. The commission said he was not eligible to contest in Bomi while still a sitting lawmaker in another county.
This is the second time the Montserrado representative has been given legal credence to continue with his representative bid in Bomi.
The Board of Commissioners also had earlier dismissed a decision by a NEC hearing officer in an attempt by Bomi’s Sen. Sando Johnson to bar Snowe from contesting.
Following Tuesday’s ruling, Snowe praised his colleagues for testing the law by seeking redress through the court.
“This is a case of first instance in Liberia. It has not happened before, so I want to commend them for testing the law,” he said.
He also praised the legal system, noting its vibrancy.
Featured image courtesy of Flickr’s mjmkeating