The National Elections Commission has rejected Montserrado County Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe from contesting Bomi County District #1 in the October 10, 2017 elections.
NEC ruling affirmed that Mr. Snowe’saffidavit disclosed that he is a resident and a sitting Lawmaker of Montserrado County District #6 who holds a certificate as a Representative of Montserrado County District #6. According to NEC, Mr. Snowe cannot be domiciled for two districts, for this, he cannot be allowed to contest in another countywhile being a sitting lawmaker for another. BomiCounty District #1 LawmakerSamuel G. Karmo complained to NEC that his parliamentarian colleague is a sitting lawmaker for Montserrado County #6 but opted to contest in another district which he said is transgressionof Article 48 of the Constitution which explains the role of a representative and the opportunity available for said lawmaker to seek reelection in an ensuing election, except wherein he or she has resigned earlier and established domicile in another electoral district a year or more prior to said election. Karmo added thatSnowe violated Redistributing Regulations 3.2 and 3.3 of the Threshold Law which established 73 fixed electoral districts. It could be recalled that on June 15, 2017 incumbent district #1 lawmaker Samuel Karmo filed a complaint to Bomi County Magistrate Washington V. Farmah, challenging the eligibility of Rep. Snowe to register to vote and to contest for the Lawmaking seat for electoral District #1. The complaint was heard by Magistrate Farmah on July 1, 2017 with Snowe’s Defense Council, headed by former Justice Minister Benedict Sannoh, taking the witness stand while Karmo chose to plead for himself. Snowe was declared victorious as per the Magistrate’s ruling. This led him (Snowe) to take to the streets of Tubmanburg with a massive crowd in celebration. Regardless ofSnowe’s victory, Karmo took advantage of the law by filing his appeal to the National Elections Commission (NEC) in order to get a proper redress in the case as compared to what the Bomi Magistrate ruled. To Snowe and his supporters’ shock and dismay, the ruling on Monday July 31, 2017 denied the defendant from contesting in the district. Speaking to journalists after the ruling, Edwin Melvin Snowe said: “I respect the law and the ruling from the NEC hearing officer. Liberia is a country of law.” However, the Lawmaker said he has two opportunities to fight his case; firstly he will file to the Board of Commissioners at NEC and if that is not satisfied with the result, he will definitely reach the final arbiter of law which is the Supreme Court. He added that if everything goes against him, he will definitely wish his supporters and the people of Seinji District well, but for now, everything is not lost as he urged his supporters to join the political campaign which starts on July 31, 2017. Meanwhile, Bomi County Senator Sando Johnson said that the ruling is commendable and is a victory for the people of District #1, Bomi County. “The ruling is on track. We will not allow a frog to jump from one corner to the other wanting to be representative in Bomi. I am happy with the ruling and I am happy for my people in Seinji”, he said.