EDITORIAL: Let This Be the Last Surgery on the Threshold Bill

Members of the House of Representatives have for the third time, passed the threshold bill, this time at 46,000. Like a victim of a grave motor accident going from surgical room to surgical room in the hospital, the threshold bill is being taken to the Senate before going to the Executive Branch of Government. Like a patient in the hospital, the threshold bill will have to undergo operation in each and every one of these branches. The passage of the threshold bill is vital for the holding of next year’s elections. The National Elections Commission or NEC has been expressing serious concern about the delay in the passage of the threshold bill.

The House’s latest decision was taken at its Tuesday’s regular session, weeks after the Senate passed the bill at 54, 500, with a provision of one seat allotment to each.

This development comes several months after both Houses passed the bill at 49,000 with one seat allotment to each county, which was rejected by the Executive Branch on constitutional grounds. The rejection was followed by another attempt at 40,000, which was vetoed by the President, this time due to limited resources to accommodate the influx of new lawmakers.

We at The NewDawn believe it is now time for a concrete decision on this all important bill which is tied to the holding of successful general and presidential elections in 2011 inline with our constitution without further delays.

Why it is true that lawmakers and interest groups from some of the under populated counties are worried that a high population threshold, would reduce some of their counties into a constituency, and therefore would opt for a lower threshold that would give them at least more than two seats, there is a need to be mindful of the economic aspect of such desires.

We have noticed over the years, how past leaders, because of their selfish desires or political expediency created additional counties and cities to satisfy their political foes, without taking into consideration the economic implications of these additional districts, towns, cities and counties, we now face today.

As a result of these decisions there are many hamlets in our country today call cities and big towns being given county status that do not meet city or county standards.

Today, a county such as Grand Kru has about 36 cities, but not one can boost of any revenue generating avenue that contributes to the national budget or provide some basic services for its people-everything is the central government. Not one of these cities or even some of the newly created counties can boost of 12-good high schools or a single junior college, yet politicians continue to lobby sitting governments for more county and city status to be granted to these highly forested villages, all because of political gains and greed for power.

It is our position that the creation of additional counties, cities, districts and townships should not be based on politics and the desire to create more jobs for political allies but that should be done on the basis of population density and development.

Today, much noise is being made over the threshold bill all because of the desire to accommodate more allies that would drain the economic and not so much about representation, because some of the sitting officials are yet to make any impact in their various constituencies.

We understand that some are even arguing against a higher threshold because they want to protect their current job that is if they stand the chance of being re-elected in the first place. We, therefore, hope that this should be the last surgery on the threshold bill.

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