MONROVIA – The Supreme Court of Liberia yesterday, April 4, 2023, reserved ruling following legal argument between lawyers representing the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), the National Elections Commission (NEC), and the government in the alleged unconstitutionality of conducting Voters Registration before reapportioning of constituencies filed with the apex court by the CPP.
At the hearing yesterday, the case was heard by the full bench of the court headed by the Chief Justice Sie Nyene Youh where NEC was represented by Cllr. Micah Wright, a former Solicitor General of Liberia, while the government was represented by acting Solicitor General Nyenatee Tuan and the CPP was represented by Cllr. Aloysius Toe and others.
During legal arguments, CPP lawyers maintained that the NEC has proceeded wrongly to conduct Voters Registration without reapportioning constituencies that NEC registered voters not in their constituencies, and that Voters Registration card issued by the NEC bears no name of constituencies as required by the Liberian Constitution.
On the other hand, the State Lawyers argued that the Liberian Constitution empowers the National Legislature to set the Threshold and as such the NEC can’t force the Legislature to do so. They maintained that in the absence of the threshold, the NEC proceeded to use the current 73 constituencies to conduct the Voters Registration.
Their position was countered by the legal team representing CPP who contended that the use of the current 73 constituencies was wrong, since in fact the law limited its use to only the 2011 elections.
CPP said while the NEC could not force the Legislature to set the Threshold, the NEC could have still proceeded to reapportion constituencies based on the provisional results of the just ended 2023 National Census which put the country’s population at 5.2 million.
Following hours of arguments and counter arguments, the Supreme Court presided over by Chief Justice Sie-A-Nyene Youh reserved ruling until further notice.
It can be recalled that the CPP which is headed by Mr. Alexander B. Cummings had petitioned the Supreme Court on March 17, accusing the NEC of proceeding with the conduct of the Voters Registration in contravention of the Liberian Constitution Articles 80 E, C and D.