As opposed to the whims and caprices of some incumbent members of the Liberian Senate, the 2014 Special Senatorial Election will go ahead as rescheduled by the National Elections Commission (NEC). The House of Representatives earlier last week endorsed the readjusted timetable for the conduct of the Elections, with the agreement that the campaign would have commenced on Sunday, November 16, 2014 and the election conducted on December 16, 2014, but the Senate, under the influence of some of its members led by Senators John Ballot of Maryland and Jewel Howard-Taylor of Bong, turned down the possibilities of the December 16 election.
According to the Senators, 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. The senators- thirteen of whom are seeking re-election described the new timetable as unrealistic, and that they- members of the august body, would not accept such proposal by the NEC.
These very Senators, in a Joint Resolution on October 10, 2014 with Members of the House Representatives, mandated the commission to set a date not later than December 20, 2014 in consultations with political parties, independent candidates, civil society groups, as well as national and international health authorities, for the conduct of the election.
In view of the foregoing, for these very Senators to have rejected the December 16 date agreed upon in accordance with the mandate given to the NEC, it only proves to their constituents or voters in the counties that they can no longer be trusted. Thanks to the wisdom of the National Elections Commission and its reliance of the October 10, 2014 Joint Resolution that the Special Senatorial Election will, indeed, go ahead, and that campaign activities will officially begin on Thursday, November 20.
As our country goes into the process come Thursday, we join the National Election Commission in appealing to all of the candidates and their supporters to ensure total peace and security in the execution of their campaign activities across the country. Just as the NEC has emphasized, the period of campaigning must be used to market ideologies and plans for the socio-economic development in the counties in particular and Liberia in general. Such ideologies and plans must also be characterized by the candidates’ past achievements (and human relations with their constituents) to as to generate the trust for their confidence.
As we are beginning to see threats of violence as evidenced by the various forms of provocations by certain candidates and their supporters in Montserrado, Bong, as well as Grand Bassa, among a few others, the National Elections Commission must be very firm in upholding and executing the Elections Laws of Liberia without fear or favor. This is the only way candidates would refrain from using their “cash” on ‘belleh-driven’ young people against the primary objectives of the Special Senatorial Election.