Monrovia - The National Elections Commission (NEC) has certificated the winner of the December 20, 2014 Special Senatorial Election in Margibi County. Mr. Jim W. Tornonlah of the People’s Unification Party (PUP) was certificated Saturday, April 11, 2015 at a ceremony held at the Headquarters of the NEC in Monrovia.
Presenting the Certificate of Election to Mr. Tornonlah, the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Cllr. Sarah Toe, commended the Margibi County Senator for his patience during the course of the legal battle at the Supreme Court. “As much as Mr. Tornonlah felt discouraged because he could not be certificated with his colleagues during certification ceremonies held in January and February this year, the NEC welcomes the decision of those who felt aggrieved by the outcome of the December 20, 2014 Special Senatorial Election in their recourse to the law,” Cllr. Toe said.
She noted that this is a clear indication that democracy is maturing in Liberia. “It is therefore the wish of the Commission that this practice of reverting to the law whenever a citizen feels aggrieved in a process will resonate in all areas of our lives as citizens of Liberia.” The Acting NEC Chairman concluded.
It can be recalled that 3 of the 15 Senators elected during the December 20, 2014 Special Senatorial Election, Cllr. Varney Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County, Cllr. Morris Saytumah of Bomi County and James Tornolah of Margibi County were not certificated on January 3, 2015 due to a Supreme Court Stay Order arising from allegations of “electoral mal-practices” filed by some candidates against their election.
After conducting hearings into complaints filed against these elected senators, the Board of Commissioners of the NEC reaffirmed the election of these individuals because the complainants could not prove the allegations of electoral fraud filed against the candidates.
Consequently, the Supreme Court of Liberia in February 2015 rescinded its decision to prohibit the certification of Cllrs. Sherman and Saytumah of Cape Mount and Bomi Counties, respectively. Accordingly, and in keeping with Section 2.9 (q) of the New Elections Law of Liberia, the Commission in February 2015 certificated Cllr. Sherman and Cllr. Saytumah as senators elect of their respective counties, respectively.
The Commission could not certificate Mr. Jim Tornonlah at the time because the Supreme Court had not given the mandate to do so. However, following a period of legal battle, the Supreme Court earlier last week mandated the NEC to proceed with the certification of Mr. Jim W. Tornolah.