Protesters Storm Capitol Building -Write Liberian Senate

Protesters Storm Capitol Building -Write Liberian Senate

MONROVIA, LIBERIA -A group of citizens of Grand Cape Mount County on Thursday, May 27, 2021 stormed the compound of the Capitol Building – seat of the Liberian Legislature to call on the Liberian Senate to swiftly intervene into the prolonged election case that has since, according to them, have denied their right for equal representation in the Senate.

The citizens, who stormed the Capitol before session, gathered at the front view of the building with placards carrying different inscriptions before formally presenting a statement to the Liberian Senate, also known as the Upper House of the Liberian Legislature. In their communication, a copy which is in the possession of this paper, the group called on the Liberian Senate work under its constitutional and statutory duties by upholding the rights of the people of Grand Cape Mount County as underscored by Chapter I, Article 1 of the Constitution.

Like in some counties, result of the December 8, 2020 Special Senatorial Election in Grand Cape Mount was also disputed with defeated Senator Victor Watson filing series of complaint before the country’s electoral body, the National Elections Commission (NEC) and subsequently to the Supreme Court of Liberia, which is the final arbiter of justice in the country. Defeated Watson’s numerous complaints come on the heel of the announcement of final election result, in which the Commission declared Mr. Simeon Taylor, a candidate of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), winner of election in Grand Cape Mount by the NEC after he accumulated the highest votes cast during the voting process.

Watson, who comes from the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), claimed in his complaints that the process was marred by multiple frauds. Senator Watson cited alleged double registration and voting, counting of invalid votes in favor of Senator-elect Taylor, thus increasing the numbers on the records of account. Following inquiries by the NEC, the Board of Commissioners ruled in favor of Simeon Taylor. But Senator Watson took an appeal to the Supreme Court and the high court mandated the NEC to look into the case again and make final determination. Since then, the Commission has not acted, thus prompting the aggrieved women to stage the match.

Accordingly, the citizens contend that the long delay is in violation of Chapter VIII, Article 83 (C) of the Liberian Constitution, which has to do with election hearing of election disputes. “Honorable Members of the 54th Legislature, Grand Cape Mount County is among the early founders of the Liberian state, coming fifth in the line of the counties joining in the establishment of the Republic. Because of its culture and huge natural resource endowments, Grand Cape Mount County has remained an indispensable contributor to the national economy and revenue. And the county should not have to endure a system of “taxation without representation” because public officials cannot uphold their oath of offices,” said the group. The communication was then received and turned over to the Committee on Claims and Petition of the Liberian Senate for subsequent redress.

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