-Finance warns NEC
By Lincoln S. Peters
Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah has expressed dismay over the National Elections Commission’s (NEC) request for US$1.9m to conduct a senatorial by-election in Lofa County, vowing that he will ensure that the budget is cut down because the money is too much.
He told a live interview on state broadcaster ELBC Wednesday, 2 March 2022 that he will make sure that the 1.9 million budget submitted by the NEC be cut down because there are unit coast to everything, adding that for him Liberia should not be thinking of anything called by-election.
Minister Tweah expressed serious dismay and frowned over the huge amount requested by the NEC just to fill a Senate seat in the county.
Former Defense Minister Brownie Samukai was elected to the post in Lofa in 2020, but he was prohibited from taking a seat at the Legislature after being convicted by the Courts here of criminal charges over the unlawful spending of the personal pension saving funds of personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) during his term at the ministry.
According to Minister Tweah, the US$1.9 million requested to conduct the by-election is huge and needs to be cut.
‘“When she (NEC chairperson Davidetta Brown – Lansanah) was not commissioner, I fought with the past commission over the same situation. When she became commissioner, I fought with her and we cut the election budget down from 24 million to 13 million during the 2020 by-election,” Tweah explained.
“She has submitted to me the budget of 1.9 million which is very huge but again, she knows what we [have] been through,’’ he continued.
Tweah suggested that there should be a fixed unit cost for representative, and senatorial by-elections across the country so that they won’t have to prepare budget for by-election again.