There are indications here that the Montserrado County Senatorial and Representative by-elections might be delayed, judging from a number of challenges that are being cited by National Elections Commission (NEC) Chair Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya.
There are reports that the by – elections could be postponed to July 22, 2019.
Speaking to the NewDawn Wednesday morning, 29 May via mobile phone in Monrovia, Chairman Korkoya narrated that the nation’s electoral house is faced with some internal problems that have caused the commission to delay a little in implementing some of activities in line with the calendar of events leading to the successful holding of the by – elections.
The two by-elections are caused by the deaths of late Montserrado County Sen. Geraldine Doe – Sheriff following illness and District #15 Rep. Adolph Lawrence in a car crash.
According to Chairman Korkoya, one of the key dates that should have been achieved before the holding of the elections is replacement of lost and damaged voters’ cards.
He explains that this exercise should have started since May 20 to 25, but the commission is unable to conduct that exercise up to present due to some internal challenges at the Commission.
Another key date that is nearing is the commencement of political campaign which is expected to start on June 4 to 30, Cllr. Korkoya explains further.
Additionally, Cllr. Korkoya reveals that the Commission is yet to qualify anyone as candidate for the elections, making it a little difficult again to commence on the date as scheduled by the Commission.
The NEC Boss explains that the Commission has only released provisional listing of interested candidates but the Board of Commissioners has not reached the conclusion of qualifying anyone yet.
In the midst of these challenges cited, Cllr. Korkoya however explains that the Liberian government has pledged its unflinching support in providing the necessary funding for the holding of the elections.
He tells this paper that international partners do not support smaller elections conducted by the NEC, indicating that the elections will be solely sponsored by the Liberian people’s taxes.
But he clarifies that the delay is not about funding not forthcoming. Instead, Cllr. Korkoya says there are some issues that the Board of Commissioners of the Commission are discussing, and they are near conclusion.
Commenting on the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) selecting a day to launch its political campaign, Cllr. Korkoya explains that the NEC is yet to receive any communication to that effect.
He adds that it is impossible for the National Elections Commission to come with timetable for the holding of political campaigns because there is no qualified candidate yet.
There are seven persons aspiring for the Montserrado senatorial seat, including ruling CDC’s PualitaWie; opposition Liberty Party (LP’s) Abraham Darious Dillon; Mr. Kimmie Weeks and Miata Fahnbulleh, independent candidates, among others.By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Edited by Winston W. Parley