Supreme Court Reserves Ruling in CPP, NEC Electoral Demarcation Case – Latest Liberian News

MONROVIA – The Supreme Court has reserved a ruling on the petition on constitutionality filed by the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) against the National Elections Commission (NEC).

According to CPP’s petition, the NEC is violating Articles 80 C, D, and E of the 1986 Constitution without demarcating electoral constituencies right after the 2022 National Population and Housing Census.

Recently, CPP filed a petition asking the court to address the constitutionality of the NEC’s conduct of Voter registration without the demarcation of the constitutional electoral constituency following the conduct of the national census.

CPP accused the electoral house of attempting to conduct voter registration in the absence of demarcated electoral districts.

In their petition before the Supreme Court, they said demarcated electoral districts should reflect changes in the country’s population, following the conduct of the 2022 national census.

The petition before the Supreme Court is not intended to delay the 2023 presidential and legislative elections, the CPP had said “The CPP is not seeking the intervention of the court to delay the elections,” it said.

According to the Collaborating political parties, the reason of filing is based on the constitutionality of the action of the NEC to conduct voter registration after the conduct of a census without constitutionally demarcating constituencies into which a voter is to be registered. 

The lawsuit aims to prevent the electoral body from conducting voter registration in constituencies that have not been appropriately reapportioned to reflect population growth.

Liberia’s population, according to the provisional census results stands at 5.2 million, an increase of 50.4 percent when compared to when it was 3.5 million.

On April 4, the lead lawyer of the CPP Aloysius Toe, while before the Supreme Court, contended that NEC is conducting voter registration after the census without constitutionally demarcating constituencies to which a voter is to be registered.

In his argument Cllr. Toe maintained that immediately following a national census and before the next elections, NEC shall reapportion the constituencies by the new population figures with each constituency obtaining approximately 20, 000 registered voters.

But, NEC declined saying “They cannot function without the threshold being set up by the Legislature.”

Cllr. Wilkins Wrights who is representing the electoral body argued that NEC has not violated any provision of the Constitution as mentioned by CPP.

He, however, prayed the full bench of the Supreme Court to dismiss the petition filed by CPP, noting that it lacks legal substance.

“However, we (NEC) prayed this court and your honor to dismiss the petition filed by my colleague (CPP) because this lacks legal substance,” Cllr. Wright said. 

However, following arguments from the both parties, the Supreme Court reserved ruling in the matter, adding that they will notify them on the next hearing at which time the court may render its decision. 

“Finally, after carefully listening and following the legal argument, we reserve ruling in the matter. You will be duly notified about the next hearing. This case is now adjourned, Chief Justice Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh ordered after hearing the both parties argued.

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