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Senatorial election faces uncertainty

-as Senate summons NEC, political parties

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The board of commissioners of the National Elections Commission expresses uncertainties for the Special 2020 Senatorial Election due to lack of funding and the unstoppable Corona Virus spread here.The commission, through a 14-page communication to the Senate Special Committee on elections, indicate that poll maybe held on December 15, 2020, but funding and the COVID-19 could further push the date ahead, probably to next year.

Grand Cape Mount County Senator, Cllr. Varney Sherman, notes that with the communication from the nation’s electoral house, it means more should be done, if the country is to remain within the constitutional timeframe.

Amidst speculations from some corners of the country that the executive branch of government is considering postponing the senatorial election due to the current pandemic, the Senate through its Special Committee has summoned authorities of the National Elections Commission, heads of political parties, and stakeholders today, May 21, in the Rotunda of the Capitol to discuss possibility of conducting the 2020 Special Senatorial Election, which is statutorily scheduled for October this year.

Amid speculations the government is contemplating on postponing both the senatorial race and the 2023 Presidential election by one year each due to the health crisis, some members of the opposition are vehemently opposed to such plan.

The decision to summon the NEC came from the Special committee headed by Senator Sherman. The recommendation was overwhelmingly endorsed by the full plenary of the Liberian Senate Wednesday, May 20, during its special sitting in Monrovia.

Speaking in plenary, Cllr. Sherman explains the hearing is expected to be witnessed by some interested international partners, non-governmental organizations, and duly registered political parties as well as the board of commissioners of the National Elections Commission.
The NEC is yet to carry out major preparatory activities such as voter’s registration update, International Procurement, recruitment and training of thousands of temporary staff that should have been completed in a specific timeframe, if funds were provided.

Senator Sherman, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, notes that any delay of the election could affect the constitutional function of the State and place the fate of his fellow 15 senators, who are seeking reelection in limbo. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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