The Chair on Judiciary at the Liberian Senate Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman wants a committee of members of both Houses of the Legislature to be constituted to interface with the National Elections Commission (NEC) and the President of Liberia to plan now for the presidential and general elections.
According to him, the early planning will ensure that those elections will not be postponed due to lack of sufficient funding or any other reason.
“Adherence to constitutionally mandated dates for the performance of any political process is one of the fulcrums for any democracy, let’s not fail to adhere to any mandate of the Liberian Constitution,” Cllr. Sherman says.
He notes that the Constitution mandates an election dispute shall be determined by the NEC not later than 30 days as of the date of filing of a complaint, but observes that the NEC reneged on this constitutional mandate which caused the Senate to cite the commission for contempt for obstruction of legislative functions.
Sherman says further that as the NEC worked hard to comply with the constitutionally mandated requirement to dispose of all complaints within 30 days after the filing of each complaint which arose from the 2020 senatorial election, it did not have the financial resources and the administrative capacity to comply with this
Sherman proposes that the special select committee should investigate into the possible problems which NEC faces, which could hamper its ability and capacity to timely dispose of complaints arising out of
the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
The Cape Mount senator continues that the Legislature could be faced with a request for postponement of the 2023 presidential and legislative elections if both the Legislative and the Executive Branches of Government
Do not take appropriate actions to avoid what happened in 2020.
“We ought to demand that the NEC gives us a budget, howbeit tentative for the conduct of the 2023 presidential and legislative elections and we ought to set aside and allocate funds in each annual budget as of now in readiness for the 2023 [elections,” he says.
By Ethel A. Tweh–Edited by Winston W. Parley