With 71 days to go to the holding of the 2020 Special Senatorial Election (SSE) on Tuesday, December 8, the National Elections Commission (NEC) has provisionally certified 118 candidates to contest the 15 Seats in the Upper House.
The Nomination Process for the SSE ran from Tuesday, September 1, 2020, to Monday, September 21, 2020, at 5:00 PM. The Process was held in the James Fromayan Hall, NEC’s Headquarters in Monrovia.
According to NEC provisional listing, Lofa has the highest number of candidates, 11; followed by Grand Cape Mount and Montserrado counties with 10 candidates each.
Gbarpolu, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, and River cess recorded nine (9) candidates each, while Bong, Grand Bassa, and Maryland are eight (8) each. Margibi and Nimba counties have seven (7) provisional Senatorial candidates; Bomi has five (5) and Rivercess and Sinoe have four (4) each.
Of the 15 incumbents Senator, only Grand Gedeh County Senator Alphonso G. Gaye isn’t seeking reelection. It may be recalled that in early January 2020, Sen. Gaye exclusively told the Daily Observer that he would not seek reelection but will retire as a farmer, giving other Grand Gedeans the chance to showcase their potentials at the level of the Senate.
Senators who are seeking reelection are Sando D. Johnson (Bomi, CPP), Henry Yallah (Bong, CDC), Armah Jallah (Gbarpolu, PUP), Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence (Grand Bassa, CPP), Peter Coleman (Grand Kru, CDC), George Tengbe, CDC), and Oscar Copper (Margibi, Independent).
Others include Senators Dan Morais (Maryland, Independent), Thomas Grupee (Nimba, MPC), Matthew Jaye (River Gee, Independent), Dallas Gweh (Rivercess, CDC), Augustine Chea (Sinoe, CDC), Darius Dillon (Montserrado, CPP) and Victor Watson (Grand Cape Mount, CDC).
Senators Dillon of Montserrado and Sen. Watson of Grand Cape Mount were the only two candidates that were elected in by-elections in 2019. However, according to the NEC provisional list, 17 sitting Representatives (Lower House) are contesting the Special Senatorial Elections.
Only sitting Representatives from Rivercess and Sinoe Counties are not contesting, while sitting Representatives from the remaining 13 counties have declared their candidacies for the Upper House.
The sitting Representatives who are seeking nine-year Senatorial terms include, Edwin Snowe, Jr (Bomi, Independent), Prince Moye (Bong County, CPP), Alfred Koiwood (Gbarpolu, CDC), Vincent Willie (Grand Bassa, Independent), Emerson Kamara (Grand Cape Mount, PUP), George Boley (UPP) and Zoe Pennue (CDC) both for Grand Gedeh.
Others are Representatives Nathaniel Barwah (Grand Kru, LINU), Mariamu Fofanah (ALCOP) and Julie Wiah (Independent) both for Lofa; Ben Fofanah (CPP) and Ivar Jones (CDC) both from Margibi; Isaac Roland (Maryland, PUP), Thomas P. Fallah (Montserrado, CDC), Jeremiah Koung (Nimba, MDR) and Francis Younge (River Gee, Independent).
Accordingly, nominated applicants appeared in person during the Nomination period, at the nomination center and complied with the NEC nomination procedures.
Applicants, whether nominated by a political party, coalition or alliance or independently, must meet eligibility requirements such as: present proof of his/her Liberian citizenship; be not less than the age of thirty (30) years; be domiciled in the County in which he/she wishes to contest for not less than one (1) year prior to the election; and be a taxpayer in good standing.