Liberia: NEC Studying Possibilities Of Also Conduct By-Elections In December Along With Midterm Senatorial Elections
Monrovia – The National Elections Commission (NEC) says it is exploring the possibility of combining elections for two vacant seats in the House of Representatives due to the death of two members of the House of Representatives from Sinoe and Montserrado Counties, with the December 8 Senatorial Midterm elections.
Report by Henry Karmo, [email protected]
Madam Davidetta Browne-Lansanah, addressing reporters at a news conference over the weekend declared that the Legislature has served the NEC a notice of vacancy which gives them the authority to prepare for a by-election in keeping with the constitution of the Republic of Liberia.
Representatives Munah Pelham-Youngblood and Nagbe Sloh died due to illnesses. The two fallen Lawmakers were members of the ruling Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) by extension the Coalition for Democratic Change.
According to the NEC chair, discussions are being held to study the possibilities of conducting whether they can conduct by-elections during the December 8, 2020 elections.
Article 37 of the Constitution states: “In the event of a vacancy in the Legislature caused by death, resignation, and expulsion or otherwise, the presiding officer shall within 30 days notify the Elections Commission thereof. The Elections Commission shall not later than 90 days thereafter cause a by-election to be held; provided that where such vacancy occurs within 90 days prior to the holding of general elections, the filling of the vacancy shall await the holding of such general elections.”
The NEC chair also announced the commencement of the Voter Registration Update process. The process will enable first-time voters the opportunity to register to vote in the pending December 8, 2020, special senatorial elections.
The update will also offer an opportunity for people who have misplaced their voting cards or move to other locations to register. As she announced the commencement of the process, the NEC chair also told journalists that the process could not start as expected due to bad roads.
Chair Browne-Lansanah said centers in other counties specifically in the southeast will likely experience delays due to logistical problems and bad roads. “Few of the centers are not yet open. We apologize for whatever inconvenience this may have caused you. Some of the vehicles delivering elections material across the country especially those in the southeast are being stuck in the mud for days. The magistrates of elections will be mandated to publish the new dates for the exercise.”