NEC Board of Commissioners Again Clears Snowe to Contest in Bomi

MONROVIA, Montserrado – The National Elections Commission has again cleared Representative Edwin Snowe of Montserrado’s sixth district to contest in Bomi.

The decision was taken Thursday when the NEC Board of Commissioners ruled denying an appeal from Bomi’s first district representative, Samuel Karmo, against Snowe.

Karmo had filed a complaint of objection to NEC against Snowe’s registration as a voter in Bomi. He called on the election body to delete Snowe’s name from the list of registered voters in the district and the county.

He argued that Snowe, as a sitting representative in Montserrado with all legal entitlements and a domiciled member of Montserrado’s sixth district, was not eligible to register in Bomi. Moreover, he said it was against the law for a sitting representative seated until 2018 to contest in another district.

However, the commissioners overturned a recent ruling by its elections magistrate in Bomi barring Snowe from contesting in the county on the basis that he is not domiciled in the county.

According to their ruling, the commissioners said the objectors failed to provide counter witnesses to Snowe’s claim that he has domiciled in the district for nearly three years.

“In view of the foregoing, the appeal is denied and dismissed,” the commissioners ruled.

Karmo has meanwhile threatened to appeal the commissioners’ ruling at the Supreme Court.

“Rep. Snowe who is legally seated in electoral district six, Montserrado County, is barred, estopped and precluded from being domiciled in Bomi County for the 2017 legislative and presidential elections,” he added.

“Hence, to allow Snowe, who is legally domiciled in district six, Montserrado County, and receiving legislative entitlements of said, district six claim to be domiciled in Bomi County for the sole purpose of contesting legislative elections in Senjeh District, Bomi County, is prohibited and in violation of Article 4.2 of the ‘District Regulations’ of NEC, “no electoral district shall cross a County boundary, and electoral districts shall be contiguous as far as practicable.”

Snowe who has been a representative in Montserrado since 2005, has registered to contest in the district currently represented by Karmo. He described the decision rendered by the commissioners as a victory for the people of Sinje District.

Recently, NEC rejected Snowe’s bid to contest in Bomi’s first district. The commission said he was not eligible to contest in Bomi while still a sitting lawmaker in another county.

This is the second time the Montserrado representative has been given legal credence to continue with his representative bid in Bomi.

Earlier, the Board of Commissioners dismissed a decision by a NEC hearing officer in an attempt by Bomi’s Sen. Sando Johnson to bar Snowe from contesting.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Gbatemah Senah

Gbatemah is a graduate of the University of Liberia and a recipient of the Jonathan P. Hicks Scholarship for Mass Communications. In 2017, Senah won three Press Union of Liberia awards: Women's Rights Reporter of the Year, Legislative Reporter of the Year, and Land Rights Reporter of the Year. In 2018, he was also recognized as the Land Rights Reporter of the Year.

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