World Bulletin/News Desk
Liberia's National Elections Commission on Saturday certified the winners in the country's recent mid-term senatorial elections.
Only 12 winners were, however, certified by the commission. Three more winners were banned from entering the certification hall against the background of appeals submitted at the Supreme Court against election results in their counties.
The three senators were Morris Saytuma of Bomi County, Jim Tornonlah of Margibi county and Varnie Sherman of Bomi county.
They should wait for a final decision on the appeals against the election results of their counties before they are certified as election winners by the commission.
Election commission Chairman Jerome Korkoya said the ceremony was intended for the certification of 15 winning candidates in the December 20 election.
He noted that his commission had received orders not to allow the aforementioned three candidates into the ceremony before there has been a ruling on the appeals submitted against the results of the election in their respective counties.
"The National Elections Commission deeply regrets the inconvenience," Korkoya said.
This had, meanwhile, caused outrage among a large number of the people who attended the event on Saturday.
Liberia's Vice-President Joseph Boakai, who is also the Senate's President, attended the ceremony, along with the members of parliament.
There was continuous applause inside the ceremony hall every time an election winner was called and certified,
Outside the hall, however, there was dismay and sadness.
Jim Tornonlah of Margibi county said the prohibition was surprising to him.
Tornonlah had gone to the certification site in the company of his supporters and family members.
There, however, he was told that he was not allowed to go in.
"It was surprising when they told me that I could not enter the hall," Tornonlah told The Anadolu Agency.
"I would have made adjustments, if they had told me this earlier," he added.
He said he had sustained social, psychological and financial damage as a result.
"Why should I be embarrassed?" Tornonlah asked. "I did not cause any trouble," he added.
He said he had to convince his supporters to go back home, but added that he had spent money on the transportation of his supporters from his county to the headquarters of the National Elections Commission in Monrovia.
Tornonlah said he was optimistic that he would emerge as the winner of the election in his county.
"I am just waiting to go at the court on Monday, but I am not afraid," Tornonlah said.
The Supreme Court of Liberia said it would start its hearings into the appeals soon.
Newly-elected senators would be inaugurated on January 12, according to the constitution.
These senators are due to replace others whose tenure will come to an end on the same day.
Last Mod: 03 Ocak 2015, 23:01