The leadership vacuum that has plagued Grand Cape Mount County since the December 8, 2020 midterm senatorial elections which Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) candidate Simeon Taylor won with a margin of 1,626 votes of the total tally, but was contested by his opponent, Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) candidate Victor Watson, was finally resolved on Wednesday when the Supreme Court made its final determination, ordering the National Elections Commission (NEC) to immediately certificate Mr. Taylor and provide all of the appertaining benefits retroactively as of January 2021.
Reading the Supreme Court ruling, Associate Justice Jamesetta H. Wolokollie opined that, following a thorough review of the records, and the hearing of arguments and contentions from all of the Counsels from both sides, and in view of the facts of the case and other legal reliance, co-appellee Simeon Taylor could not be held liable for his name appearing on the FFR in Tahn and Lofa Bridge, given the admission from NEC that it was an error on their part.
The ruling furthered that, while it is an offense under the New Election Law of 1986 for one to register twice, there was no intent found showing that Senator-elect Simeon Taylor registered twice to vote twice, when in fact the accused only voted in Tahn, Grand Cape Mount County.
The ruling also pointed to the lack of evidence that voters bearing the surname “Taylor” were family members of the accused, or that they registered and voted twice; neither was evidence adduced of pre-marked ballots, forgery of signatures on the Senate Record of Count and the barring of poll watchers from entering the polling stations.
Based on the Court’s observation of the lack of evidence supporting the accusations of appellant Victor Watson, the Supreme Court therefore threw out the appeal and ordered NEC to certificate Mr. Simeon Taylor with all of his rights and benefits restored dating from January 2021.
Simeon Taylor Calls For Unity
In a magnanimous post-victory gesture, Senator-elect Simeon Taylor, speaking briefly with the press, called on his supporters and sympathizers to find space in their hearts to incorporate those who were considered “brothers” from the opposing side.
“We all should come together to unite our county. Grand Cape Mount County should speak with one voice. I am calling on my junior brother, former Senator Victor Watson, to come for us to work together and move our county forward. A united Cape Mount will help to develop our county. We should not be fighting, because it is us that can bring development. With disunity, we cannot build our county. This victory is for all Cape Mountainians and Liberia at large,” Mr. Taylor stated.
Mr. Simeon Taylor was represented by Cllr. Benedict Sannoh, while Mr. Victor Watson was represented by Cllr. Arthur Johnson and Cllr. Swaliho Sessay. Cllr. Wilkins M. Wrights represented the National Elections Commission.