Bong County District #3 Rep. George Mulbah, Sr. has written the House of Representatives to mandate the National Elections Commission or NEC to open registration precincts at various prison facilities across the country ahead of the registration exercise for the 2017 representatives and presidential elections.
Rep. Mulbah believes that creating registration prencincts at the various prisons accross Liberia will enable people who are pretrial detainees to have the right to register and subsequently vote in the October elections.
He is also suggesting that every [prisoner] with sound legal status should be given the opportunity to exercise their franchise. Citing Article 77(b) of the Liberian Constitution, Rep. Mulbah argued that it gives all citizens of age 18 and above the constitutional right to vote.
But he noted that the electoral reform law of Liberia clearly states that those convicted and are serving imprisonment are ineligible to vote. But the chairman on Election at the House of Representatives Rep. Tokpa J. Mulbah of Bong County told his colleague Rep. Mulbah that it was too late for such concern on grounds that they have already passed the election budget.
While Montserrado County Electoral District #8 Rep. Moses Acarous Gray agreed with Rep Mulbah that it was the constitutional right of prisoners to vote, he however wondered how would they vote for whoever they want when they are not allowed to leave the prison. Following serious argument among the lawmakers, the communication was sent to the Committee on Elections and Judiciary to report in one week.
By Bridgett Milton-Editing by Winston W. Parley