November 9, 2017
Following the announcement of the elections results on October 20, 2017, several
political parties and independent candidates have filed complaints alleging
irregularities and fraud associated with the management of the elections of October 10, 2017. The ECC in its preliminary observation report called on all parties and candidates to pursue the legal process in handling all electoral disputes and petitions. In view of this, the ECC wishes to commend all political parties and independent candidates for taking the path of the law in seeking solutions to their grievances. We reaffirm our call for adherence to the rule of law in the adjudication of all electoral disputes and the protection of our democracy and the Constitution.
The ECC is mindful of the slow pace of the legal process and is aware that it creates uncertainty and concerns among Liberians regarding the holding of the second round of voting and its implication for the country’s political transition. At the same time, the ECC is of the view that while Liberians are anxious to know when the run-off
elections will be held, speculations on the formation of an Interim Government is premature as the nation has not reached a political crisis point coupled with the fact that disputes are being heard and we urge on all Liberians to allow the rule of law to take its course to the logical conclusions of all electoral disputes.
The ECC commends the Supreme Court for the speedy and timely adjudication of
the writ of prohibition sought by the Liberty Party. We urge the Court to maintain this pace in hearing and adjudicating all other electoral petitions that may be filed with it and reach opinions that are guided by laws and not influenced by public sentiments.
The ECC applauds the NEC for giving priority to the hearing of the ALP complaints as well as the LP case as instructed by the Supreme Court. While we acknowledge the legal technicalities and complexities associated with electoral petitions and the doctrine of due process, the ECC is calling on the NEC to provide regular update to the public on progress made on the disposition of the LP’s case and all other complaints. This will help to build citizens’ confidence in the electoral process and minimize their anxiety. By the same token, the ECC is calling on the NEC to refrain from making public statements that runs the risk of inferring judgments on petitions
before it in the absence of according the aggrieved parties formal due process as with the case of the LP as directed by the Supreme Court.
At the same time, the ECC is calling on the NEC to inform the public on the condition and security of the election materials that were transferred to the counties in preparation for the voting of the second round that was slated for November 7, 2017 that has been suspended due to the Supreme Court’s ruling.
In a similar vein, the ECC commends the leaders of political parties for demonstrating leadership by calling on their supporters to remain calm while the electoral disputes and petitions are being heard.
In safeguarding the country’s fragile democracy the ECC calls on national, regional and international partners to remain engaged with all stakeholders including political parties, media, security, and civil society.
The ECC is the largest civil society platform that observes elections in Liberia. It works in partnership with the National Democratic Institute USAID and OSIWA.
Download pdf version of release here: ECC_Statement on electoral disputes 2017