Delayed By-elections To Be held concomitantly

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By Mark N. Mengonfia mmenginfia@gmail.com

MONROVIA-The National Elections Commission of Liberia says, it is expected to conduct the delayed By-elections at once.

Appearing on ELBC Thursday, July 22, 2021, National Elections Commission chairperson, Davidetta Browne Lansanah said, the delay in the release of funding for elections has been a serious problem for the conduct of those elections by them.

Mrs. Lansanah said when the notices for the vacancy which were created by the December special senatorial elections were sent to them by the House of Representatives, they,( NEC) realized that it would have been impossible for them to conduct the elections because the money to do the work wasn’t available.

According to her, she  communicated with the Legislature informing them of the funding issue.

She indicated that in the communication to the House of Representatives, the NEC also requested that the elections be held on the said date in line with the funding.

She added that the staff at NEC is ready, but indicated that they could not have done anything without money.

Speaking additionally, the NEC boss said they have gotten 99.9 percent of the US1.7 million that was proposed for the conduct of the pending by-elections for the four counties.

In 2020, the National Elections Commission conducted Special Senatorial elections which resulted to the creation of by-elections in four counties to include Bong, Grand Gedeh, Nimba and Bomi counties.

Since seven months ago, the NEC conducted is yet to conduct by-election in keeping with the New Elections laws of Liberia which says that when there is a vacancy, the NEC should conduct an election within the time period of nine days which is three months.

But this has been violated again as was done with the December Senatorial elections which ushered in new senators who are serving for the next nine years.

Speaking further, the NEC boss said the funding for the Special Senator election was delayed and the effect of that delay caused them many challenges.

She said the commission does everything in keeping the law that protects the rights of citizens.

“If there are issues or challenges, we address them. It doesn’t not in any way mean that we did not do our work” the NEC chairperson said.

When  asked about the cases they have heard, she declined speaking on the issues  saying, that have been disposed on grounds that they have done their part; and if the parties in question see it important to take their issues to the Supreme Court, it is the right  to do so.

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