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Lofa by-election unconstitutional-Senator Wesseh

 Lewis S. Teh

Unity Party Senator Conmany B. Wesseh has termed the Lofa senatorial by-election as unconstitutional.

“That entire process that is taking place in Lofa County is a complete violation of the law; that’s why I didn’t vote in favor of the budget submitted to the Senate by the National Elections Commission”, he said.

Senator Wesseh made the comment when he addressed scores of young people on Bushrod Island over the weekend.

He said while it’s true the by-election will usher in a new senator to fill the vacancy, such an act was a clear violation of the law.

“Our constitution says there can only be the conduct of a by-election in a county or a district as a result of death of a sitting lawmaker or illness, which will result to lack of capability or an impeachment”, he argued.

According to the River Gee County Senator, he really doesn’t see any reason why former Defense Minister and Senator-Elect Brownie Samukai was prevented from taking his seat, noting that what happened at the time during former President Sirleaf wasn’t sufficient enough to stop Mr. Samukai from taking his seat to represent his county.

“Mr. Samukai from all indications was taking an instruction from the Chief Executive; he never took the soldiers’ money abruptly and misused it as being said”, he further argued.

The Lofa County by-election is a result of the Supreme Court of Liberia ordering the National Elections Commission (NEC) not to certificate Senator-Elect Samukai until the disability imposed on him based on his conviction for a felony is removed, according to law.

Samukai and two other former officials who served the Ministry of Defense under the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf regime were convicted of misappropriating soldiers’ pension fund totaling about a million-dollar and were asked to restitute the amount or face a jail sentence. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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