Bill For Mayoral, Chieftaincy Elections Enters Senate
Draft legislation, seeking elections for city mayors, council members and paramount, town and clan chiefs has been introduced in the chamber of the Liberian Senate. If passed into law, it would help to make local official(s) independent of influences from the Executive branch of government.
The legislation, which was introduced Wednesday, is being sponsored by Senators Haritos Dan Morias and John Francis Whitfield of Grand Bassa and Maryland counties, respectively.
The two are members of the former ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP). “We want the local authorities to be more independent instead of being under the influence of the executive in the discharge of their duties,” Senator Whitfield told reporters here.
He said electing local leaders is happening all around the world and Liberia should not be an exception. As a result of the civil war, local officials in the country have been appointed by the presidency instead of going to election in accordance with the law. Since the regime of the late President William Richard Tolbert, no administration has ever conducted local government elections.
The former regimes of Samuel Doe and Charles Taylor ignored the election of local leaders even the administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has avoided the process, pointing to financial constraint.