By Reuben Sei Waylaun: firstname.lastname@example.org
Although the much-publicized Special Senatorial Elections (SSE), National Referendum and Representative by-Elections in Montserrado County electoral district nine and Sinoe electoral district two have come and gone, it is bringing huge financial burden on the George Weah’s administration as it is preparing again for another Representative by-elections in the country.
According to political observers, the situation is a ‘headache’ for the president whose administration is reportedly faced with serious ‘financial crisis.’
“The impending Representative by-elections will be the first worry for the government in early 2021 as we will be struggling to find monies to conduct such elections in adherence to the constitution,” a ranking member of the governing party who begged not to be named said.
Since the ascendancy of the Coalition for Democratic Change’s government to the highest seat in the country, the quote ‘no money’ has been circulated in every part of the country, yet the government has immensely contributed to the creation of more by-elections which requires more funding to satisfy the constitution.
After taking the oath of office in January 2018, President George Weah and his officials of government told the country and the world that they were taking over a ‘broken economy’ and account of the country was ‘completely empty,’ but didn’t state how much they met in the account. This insinuation was challenged by then President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that there were monies in the account, but she herself remains tight-lip on the amount.
Despite these financial hurdles as announced by the ruling party, it has earlier created by-elections in Montserrado and Sinoe counties when Senator Joseph Nagbe was nominated by President George Weah and confirmed by the Liberian Senate as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court’s Bench and Representative Saah Joseph of Montserrado electoral district#13 was endorsed and supported by the CDC and elected as Senator of Montserrado County.
Besides, there are clear Representative by-elections in Bong County electoral district two [Prince Moye], Grand Gedeh county, district one [Zoe Pennue], Bomi district two [Edwin Melvin Snowe], Nimba district one [Jeremiah Koung-Pending], Grand Kru district one [Nathaniel Barway-Pending]. These by-elections are created as a result of the 2020 SSE in the country.
It can be recalled the CDC in the 2020 Special Senatorial Elections endorsed and supported five sitting Representatives who contested the elections. They include Rep. Jeremiah Koung, Thomas Fallah, Ivar Jones, Zoe Pennue, and Alfred Koiwood, of Nimba, Montserrado, Margibi, Grand Gedeh and Gbarpolu Counties. Two of them are presumptive winners in their respective counties.
Political pundits believe if those sitting Representatives endorsed and supported by the governing CDC along with other ‘ambitious’ Representatives had won, the Representative by-elections would have even more across the country. There were 17 sitting Representatives that contested the 2020 SSE, but only five are said to be successful.
A senior official from the ruling party, CDC who spoke to this paper on condition of anonymity, said, “we do know that there will be by-election. When the time comes, money will come. We do have friendly partners who always want to see democratic process globally.”
Currently, there is no law in the country against such decision by a sitting Representative or elected official contesting for another positions funded by the state.