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Senate’s Decision to Reject December 16 Date for Special Senatorial Election

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Last Thursday was another sad day in Liberia’s political history when some Senators led by Mr. John Ballot of Maryland  County and Jewel Howard-Taylor spearheaded a campaign to stop the 2014 Special Senatorial Election on December 16. The irony about the whole thing is that most of the senators at the forefront of opposing the election are those actually seeking re-election, and that these senators have been out about in their respective counties campaigning since one year ago.

Unfortunately, one weak justification given for their action is “they consider the lives of the Liberian people key and cardinal to the state, and as national leaders, will not mortgage their safety only because of an election.”

One would even wonder as to why didn’t they make such position clear before signing and passing the Joint Resolution along with their colleagues in the House of Representatives on October 10, 2014, mandating the National Elections Commission to set a date for the Special Senatorial Election not later than December 20, 2014 in consultation with political parties, independent candidates, civil society groups and national and international health authorities?  They had the opportunity to resist the Joint Resolution, raising the issue of the safety of the Liberian people, but they didn’t- only to concur with the House.

To have passed that Resolution on October 10 and then rejects the December 16 date for the election is not only a contradiction and betrayal of trust, but a complete justification for the Liberian people not to trust these thirteen Senators anymore. It is only indicative of a repetition of their nine-year failures when given the opportunity for extension comes December 16.

If these Senators, in their right frame of mind, would intentionally choose to ignore their commitment to election not later than December 20 and then, try to instigate confusion, well-meaning Liberians can only conclude that they are not only deceptive, but untrustworthy in terms of representing their interest in the Liberian senate once more. Perhaps the need for a new breed of senators with new ideas is more important than ever before.

This is why the young must stop allowing these people to use them with their cash. Remember, just what they said before may be coming to pass; they abandoned their people in the counties for more than eight years- most of them having no homes, but relied on hotels and guest houses, because of their lack of interest in the people they claimed to have been representing as Senators. Yes, they said it- and if it was time for election, they would use money to buy the minds of the people.

But Liberians have to be very mindful of these Senators many are now describing as ‘un-useful’ politicians; they may be pretending that they love you by the cash they distribute under the guise loans or whatsoever, but upon being elected (God forbid), they would be all onto themselves as experienced during the past nine years.

Perhaps the signs on the walls are very visible in most of the counties- that’s why these Senators chose to behave like political pendulums. But thanks to the National Elections Commission for reiterating its preparedness to hold the election on December 16 and that campaign would start on tomorrow, Thursday.

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