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A decision made behind closed doors by about five persons clothed with the authority to determine the status of applicants, presidential and legislative aspirants, at the National Elections Commission (NEC) is causing unease across the political landscape and even bringing to bear the strongest of will and determination by the Liberty Party in banging on the doors of the Supreme Court where lies the last hope of maintaining its cherished choice of vice running mate in Harrison Karnwea.

A tricky but controversial legal instrument, Code of Conduct, is being used in clipping the political wing of Mr. Karnwea to serve as running mate to LP’s Charles Walker Brumskine in October’s poll, bringing to veracity months of high speculations and somehow anticipations following the rejection of the legislative contenders early last week for not resigning two years earlier as enshrined in the Code of Conduct.

After weeks of fiery responses to NEC’s decision including a legal determination by its erudite standard-bearer who himself is a lawyer by profession, the LP sought the path to the Supreme Court with the filling of a Bill of Exceptions, praying the highest court of the land to overturn the NEC decision.

Through its legal counsel, Brumskine and Associates, an entity owns by the Standard-bearer, the Bill is a requirement of the process of appeal from the decision of the NEC to the Supreme Court for consideration, to have him, co-appellant Karnwea, registered as the vice-presidential candidate of the LP for the ensuing October I0, 2017 Presidential and General Elections.
Among other things, the Bill takes into account Karnwea’s fillings including aspirant`s questionnaire to establish residency, domicile, and compliance with code of conduct for public officials, requesting him to state whether he had resigned from any public position that he held within the last three years.

LP informs the Supreme Court that Kamwea responded by stating that he resigned from the position of managing director of the Forestry Development Authority on March 9, 2017.

“On Friday, July 7, 2017, co-appellant Kamwea received a call from the appellee, informing him that the appellee had written a letter to him, of which he was instructed to take delivery. In fact, it was a "Notice of rejection of nomination application" form (the "Notice"). Of the fourteen reasons, listed on the Notice, for which a vice-presidential candidate could be rejected, the appellee marked the box next to, "candidate is banned from contesting by the Code of Conduct for public officials."

“Aspirant questionnaire to establish residency, domicile, and compliance with Code of Conduct for public officials" that relates to the Code have to do with the timing of co-appellant Kamwea resigning from his presidential appointment, it is presumed that the appellee determination that the candidate is barred from contesting by the Code of Conduct for public officials has to do with co-appellant Kamwea resigning from his presidential appointment on March 9, 2017.”

“The erroneous decision of the appellee is evident by the fact that co-appellant Karnwea did not desire, and could not have desired, two years ago to be the running mate of Charles W. Brumskine, the presidential candidate of the co-appellant Liberty Putty, and therefore, could not have resigned, nor could have been expected to resign.

Considering its position as contained in the Bill of Exception filed, LP prays that august Court to reverse and overturn the determination of the appellee (NEC) to bar co-appellant from contesting the 2017 presidential and general elections by the code of Conduct for public officials.
“That Your Honors will rule that co-appellant Karnwea is qualified and eligible to, and may indeed contest the elections as the vice presidential candidate of the co-appellant liberty Party and, that Your Honors will grant unto the appellants any other relief as may be deemed just, legal and equitable,” Karnwea Bill of Exception prayed the Supreme Court

ANC Threatens too

Besides the LP, the Alternative National Congress (ANC) is also putting fate in the wisdom of the Supreme Court as its vice running mate is affected by NEC’s decision.
Though not yet gone to the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court, ANC expressed confidence that its vice standard-bearer would be on the ballot, a statement seemed as an attempt to calm frustrated and angry partisans to still put.

Chairman Orishall Gould: “We would like to formally assure all of our executive committee members, partisans, supporters and well-wishers as well as our unfortunate detractors, that Amb. Jeremiah Sulunteh will be joining our standard bearer Mr. Alexander B. Cummings on the ballot this October following this certification process.”

“The ANC is putting plans together in order to seek readdress at the Supreme Court anytime,” though he fell short of stating a particular time.

From whence he garnered his strength to provide such assurance is the determination made by the party’s legal team which deemed him qualified before he was announced, although the Supreme Court is yet to make rulings into the writ of prohibition filed before it by some of the denied aspirants.

First victim, assistant post and telecommunication minister Abu Kamara who is contesting for the legislative seat in District 15, Montserrado County first banged on the doors of the Supreme Court two days after he was informed of not being qualified to run in October’s poll for failing to comply with the conditions of the Code of Conduct.

Any positive outcome of Abu’s writ of prohibition, provided their situations are the same, could also be positive for Sulunted and Karnwea and the rest of the candidates who are in the shadow of the Code of Conduct.

“Even-though the NEC has rejected our vice standard bearer, the party still has great confidence in its ability to properly conduct a conduct a free, fair and transparent election,” he went on talking about something that has close bearings on the denial of the party’s running mate.

He however, rallied ANC partisans, well-wishers and supporters to remain calm, confident and undistracted about the pronouncement from NEC about it vice standard-bearer.

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