Montserrado District #10 Rep. Yekeh Kolubah has filed a petition for a writ of prohibition against the National Elections Commission (NEC), requesting the Supreme Court to restrain the Commission from conducting the delayed Senatorial by – elections set for 31 July in Montserrado and Bong Counties.
By – elections in the two counties were due to be held to fill vacancies left at the Liberian Senate following the elections in December 2017 of President George Manneh Weah who represented Montserrado County and his Vice President Jewel Howard – Taylor of Bong County.
But after Mr. Weah’s inauguration on 22 January this year, his government announced that it did not have money to go ahead with the conduct of the by – elections, which has left the two seats vacant beyond the required time given by the Constitution.
The Constitution says the presiding officer shall within 30 days notify the NEC in the event of a vacancy caused by death, resignation, expulsion or otherwise and the Commission shall not later than 90 days thereafter cause a by – election to be held.
Provided that such vacancy occurs within 90 days prior to the holding of general elections, the Constitution says the filling of the vacancy shall await the holding of such general election. Mr. Weah is in just five months of a six year – term he began in January this year, which means general elections are over five years away.
Filing the petition on Friday, 1 June, Mr. Kolubah argued that the NEC was duly informed in full compliance with the law, but accuses the electoral house of allegedly refusing, failing and neglecting to satisfy the constitutional provision.
He exhibits a communication dated 1 February 2018 and addressed to NEC Chair Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoya in which Senate Secretary Nanborlor F. Singbeh informed the Commission of the two vacancies created within the Senate due to the December 26, 2017 presidential runoff won by Mr. Weah and Madam Taylor.
Rep. Kolubah pleads with the Supreme Court to stay all further proceedings pending the efficacy of the petition and grant petitioner all further relief as the law directs.
By Winston W. Parley