By Othello B. Garblah
Liberia People’s Party (LPP) Political Leader Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe has descended upon Commissioners at the National Elections Commission (NEC) hours after the Board of Commissioners announced November 14, as the date for the Presidential runoff between incumbent President George Weah and former Vice President Joseph Boakai, saying the date is wrong and unconstitutional.
The Chair of NEC on Tuesday, October 24, declared that with the results of the October 10, polls showing that no presidential ticket obtained 50 percent plus one vote, a run-off election is to be held on Tuesday, 14 November 2023 between incumbent President Weah and Amb. Boakai.
But Cllr. Gongloe has criticized the change of the Constitutional Presidential runoff date by NEC, saying the electoral body has no authority to alter the Liberian Constitution.
“The announcement made by the Chairperson of the National Elections Commission setting November 14, 2023, as the date for the run-off is a blatant violation of Article 83(b) of the Constitution of Liberia. Article 83 (b) provides, “…If no candidate obtains an absolute majority in the first ballot, a second ballot shall be conducted on the second Tuesday following…” Cllr. Gongloe wrote in his piece titled: “No, no, NEC, wrong date for the 2023 Presidential Runoff Election!!!”.
In his short article written to the New Dawn Cllr. Gongloe said NEC has no authority to change the date for holding a presidential run-off from November 7, to 14.
“The National Elections Commission has no authority to change the date for holding a run-off election where no presidential candidate obtains an absolute majority, as it did today,”
“The NEC having announced the final result on today, October 24, 2023, the second Tuesday from the date of announcement of the final result will be Tuesday, November 7, 2023, and not Tuesday, November 14, 2023. There is no exception in the constitution that would allow the NEC to use its discretion to change the second Tuesday to a third Tuesday or any other Tuesday. Therefore, NEC should immediately correct its decision and set Tuesday, November 7, 2023, as the date for the run-off, as mandated by the Constitution of Liberia,” Cllr. Gongloe said.