-NEC appeals for new date
The National Elections Commission (NEC) has appealed to President George Weah to prevail on the 54th Legislature to consider a change of date (day) for the conduct of Mid-Term Senatorial Election scheduled for October this year. NEC maintains that the original date is not feasible due to the Coronavirus pandemic but remains certain that the election can be held before 2021.
In a press release dated May 6, 2020 the NEC said “the date for the Special Senatorial Election (SSE) and Constitutional Referendum is not feasible amidst the current global outbreak of coronavirus pandemic and related restrictions.”
“The Coronavirus pandemic and related restriction accompanying its fight have impact on international procurement required to secure electoral materials; assessment of voter registration centers critical for voter roll update preparations, recruitment and training of temporary staffs, all of which are indispensable for the credible conduct of the electoral process,” the release signed by Henry Flomo, Director of Communications at the NEC said.
Although a new date within 2020 has not yet been identified for the conduct of the Special Senatorial Elections, the NEC Board of Commissioners has recommended to President Weah to request the Legislature to enact a resolution to temporarily suspend the October 13, 2020 date and set a new date within the same year for the conduct of the elections.
Article 83 (a) of the Constitution of Liberia stipulates that “voting for President, members of the Senate and members of the House of Representatives shall be conducted throughout the Republic on the second Tuesday in October of each election”.
Earlier, NEC spokesperson Henry Flomo told the Super Morning Show (ELBC early morning talk show) that it is the hope of the Board of Commissioners of the NEC that President Weah will consult with the Legislature to consider a change of date to either November or December of this year (2020).
It can be recalled that the last Senatorial election was held in 2014 and it appears very likely that 15 of the 30 Senators now at the Capitol may have no constitutional power to continue running their respective offices due to the expiration of their respective tenures of office.