Justice Youh, in her order, mandated the Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC) Cllr. Davidetta Browne Lansannah to firstly pause campaign activities, which began on Saturday, October 10, 2020. Justice Youh’s order is based on the Writ of Mandamus filed by the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP). A Writ of Mandamus under the law is a special proceeding to obtain a writ requiring the respondent to perform an official duty. It is not a preventive remedy, but is essentially a coercive writ, one that commands performance. The CPP comprises of the former ruling Unity Party (UP), Liberty Party (LP), Alternative National Congress (ANC), and All Liberian Party (ALP).
It could be recalled that a first petition of the CPP filed before the nation’s highest court was denied by Justice Youh without citing any basis; however, based on some amendment to the writ, the granted the opposition group its wish and issued the Writ of Mandamus. In addition to calling on the Supreme Court to order the NEC to clean up the 2017 voter roll and cancel the just-ended voter roll update, the opposition parties in the amended version of the writ, called for the separate holding of the ensuing Representative by-elections for Montserrado County Electoral District #9 and Sinoe County Electoral District #2.
The CPP prayed to the high court to compel the National Election Commission, the House of Representatives and the Executive Branch of Government to conduct the Representative by-election in both Montserrado and Sinoe Counties on or before October 28 in line with the law of Liberia. The opposition parties contended in their petition that the Legislature as though gravely unmindful of its constitutional duty and as a demonstration of further disregard for the fundamental law of the country, notified the NEC of the death of Rep. Sloh on September 10, 2020, seventy -two (72) days after his death, while in the case of Rep. Youngblood was also September 10, sixty-four (64) days after her death.
They emphasized that based on the unethical and unconstitutional act by the Legislature not notifying the NEC within 30 days of the vacancies created in the Legislature by the deaths District#2 and District#9 Representatives "It is profoundly regrettable to bring to the attention of the court that the NEC has declared that it will conduct the by- election for these two vacancies on December 8, 2020," says the lawsuit. Accordingly, Justice Youh also ordered the country’s electoral body through its head and principle deputies on election matters to immediately put halt to the publication of candidates’ listing following a writ of Mandamus filed by one Mulbah S. Jackollie, a senatorial aspirant, through his legal counsel, Cllr. Jallah Barbu.
In furtherance of its action, the court also cited NEC to a conference with the Justice in Chambers for Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 9:00am. "You are hereby commanded to notify the NEC of the Republic of Liberia by and thru its chairperson and all commissioners and authorities responsible for elections matter serving under her leadership and their authority of the Republic of Liberia, respondent in the above entitled cause of action to appear by filing their returns before her Hon. Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh Associate Chambers Justice of the Supreme Court on or before the October 14, 2020 at 9am to show cause why the petitioner’s petition prayed for should not be granted," Justice Youh instructed.
"You are further commanded to instruct the respondent (NEC) to file their returns to the writ of Mandamus in the office of the Supreme Court clerk on or before Oct 14, 2020," she stated.