Liberia: Montserrado By-Elections Unlikely To Hold within Constitutional Time Frame

Monrovia – The Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Cllr. Jerome Korkoya has warned that the pending July 2 Montserrado By-elections will not take place if all election materials are not procured and brought in the country by June 30.

Report by Gerald C. Koinyeneh,

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, June 4, Chairman Korkoya revealed that the government has finally agreed to disburse the full amount of US$2.5 million for the election but has not paid any amount to start the process.

The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning had earlier stated that the government could not ditch out such ‘huge’ amount owing to the ‘stressed’ budget. 

But following series of negotiations, the NEC boss noted that the Ministry of Finance agreed to give an initial amount of US$1.5 million but the delay has already affected the change in the preliminary election activities including replacement of lost and damaged voter cards.

Cllr Korkoya noted that if the materials can be procured and imported into the country by June 30, 2019, the elections will go ahead as planned. 

He, however, added that when the materials are not procured within time the constitutional time frame of 90 days will elapse and the NEC will be left with no alternative but to revert to the Legislature for a way forward.

“PPCC [Public Procurement and Concession Commission] will not allow us to initiate any procurement activities in the absence of the fund. Therefore, if the materials are not here by June 30 of this year, we may have to revert to the Legislature to inform them of the situation,” he averred.

The Montserrado Senatorial and Representative By-elections are being held following the death of Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherrif and Representative Adolph Lawrence of Montserrado County District #15.

Senator Sheriff died following a prolonged illness, while Rep. Lawrence met his untimely demise in a fatal car crash on the Roberts International Airport Highway. 

Meanwhile, Chairman Korkoya has declared campaign for the elections officially opened and called on candidates to abide by the rules and regulations guiding the process.

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