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Weah wants joint resolution for by-elections

By Ethel A Tweh

The Plenary of the Liberian Senate has mandated its Committee on Autonomous Commissions and Agencies and Judiciary to scrutinize a proposal from President George Manneh Weah seeking a Joint Resolution from the Legislature for the conduct of By-Elections in four political districts in the Country.

The committee is mandated to report its findings to Plenary on Thursday, 26 August 2021. The action by the Senate’s Plenary was triggered by a communication forwarded Tuesday, 17 August 2021 by President Weah on behalf of the National Elections Commission (NEC).

”I am pleased to forward self-explanatory communications from the National Elections Commission, informing me about the non-feasibility to conduct the By-Elections in Bomi, Bong, Grand Gedeh, and Nimba Counties as required by law,” Pres. Weah said.

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He also informed the Legislature that the NEC has proposed collapsing the By-Elections and holding them on the same date, noting that the commission is looking forward to conducting these By-elections not later than 16 November 2021 for which he wants a joint resolution from the Legislature.

”Honorable President Pro-Tempore, in consideration of the aforementioned, I kindly request a Joint Resolution of the Legislature, mandating the National Elections Commission to conduct the four By-Elections no later than November 16, 2021,” President Weah said.

Earlier on 5 August 2021, the Chairperson of NEC Davidetta Browne Lanssanah informed the President that the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning had provided 99% of funding for the By-Elections and the commission was looking toward conducting the elections.

The Commission in its communication further informed the President that considering the 90 days mandate of Article 37 of the 1986 Constitution within which an election for vacant seats should be held, NEC was expecting to receive the Joint Resolution from the Legislature by 18th August 2021.

The NEC at the same time told the President through the communication that these By-Elections may be pushed to 2022 should the Joint Resolution be delayed beyond August 2021.

The NEC has not conducted by-elections for a number of counties whose sitting representatives contested in the 8 December 2020 Special Senatorial Elections and won. Bomi, Bong, Grand Gedeh, and Nimba Counties had their sitting representatives elected to the Liberian Senate, leaving the representative seats vacant since the polls.–Edited by Winston W. Parley


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