By Mark N. Mengonfia Mmenginfia@gmail.com
With Less than four months to December 8, 2020 Senatorial Elections and a major constitutional amendment, a member of house’s committee on election and inauguration has called for more time if the constitutional amendment should be possible.
Margibi County District three lawmaker, Ellen A. Redd speaking during day one of the electoral reform public hearing said “I am one of those who is advocating for the propositions to be voted for separately.”
According to her, it is important for Liberia as a country to take its own time in properly planning the process.
Although Rep. Redd is one of the lawmakers who signed the joint resolution for elections and constitutional amendment to be concomitantly done, but it appears like she does not see it logically possible for the constitutional amendment and the election which will usher new sets of senators into power.
Her point of contention was when the election and the amendment are done together, it is possible that the senators elected along with the changes made in the tenure of senators be considered as seven or nine years senators; something she said has the ability to cause confusion.
She said “We need time for the proposition.”
According to her, more needs to be done to ensure that the propositions are clearly explained to Liberians and that the process should not even be done along with the elections in the same box.
She said “It is a critical thing and we do not want people to run to the court after election. We need to put it on paper in black and white.”
Speaking additionally, she said their responsibility as the people’s representatives is to ensure that the right things are done to maintain the peace.
The ongoing public hearing is in line with the committee responsibility to hear from stakeholders as the process of election draws near.
Earlier, Oscar Bloh, ECC steering committee head said, they support the tenure of the president, senators, and representatives from six to five, nine to seven and six to five respectively.
He said elections date should be removed from the constitution to provide for emergency adding that most countries in the region have elections date in the constitution.
According to him, if what is in the gazettepublished by the executive is how the propositions are going to look like in the upcoming elections, Liberia will be in errors.
“Those propositions cannot be tied together; it’s in violation of the constitutional provision. The constitution says each proposition that is set for, should be voted upon separately….”
He indicated that if it remains as he has read in the gazetteis what will go for the referendum; it will be challenged because it violates the constitution of Liberia.
According to him, section 2.5 of the elections laws calls for a person affiliating with a political party she denounces his or her alliance to the party this according to him is just open.
The public election public hearing continues today with national identification registry, Liberia elections network, good governance, law reform commission and other stakeholders making appearance for the hearing to put forth their views on the upcoming process.