Despite “low approval rating of members of the House of Representatives,” internal political fights, including the removal of the Speaker of the House on two occasions, more incumbent lawmakers were reelected this year, as opposed to the 2011 representatives election.
In the past nine years (from 2007 to 2016), two Speakers were removed from their positions — Edwin M. Snowe was compelled to resign in 2007, while J. Alex Tyler was replaced in 2016, which legal pundits said was responsible for mischaracterization and the negative branding of the Legislature.
Even at the opening of the Sixth Session on Monday, January 10, House Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay admitted that the image of the Legislature has been tainted over the years with incessant public condemnations.
The recent recount of ballots in Electoral District #8 in Nimba County resulted in Rep. Larry Younquoi being reelected, putting the reelected incumbents at 30.
The 1997 Proportional Government resulted in the nomination of the Legislature, which was followed by an Interim Government because of an “interval of an armed conflict.” Also, the Legislature was based on nomination, which means that from 1997 – 2005, the Legislature was made up of nominated lawmakers.
In January 2006, the first democratically elected representatives and senators were seated after the 2005 presidential and legislative elections.
The 52nd Legislature comprised 64 Representatives and 30 Senators, based on the 1986 population statistics or threshold, which the National Elections Commission (NEC) used to determine the number of seats.
Six years later, the NEC added nine (9) seats to the House of Representatives, making it 73 electoral districts, based on the 2010 Census.
In the 2011 representatives election, 24 out of the 64 Representatives were reelected, which amounted to 39% return rate. Forty (40) lawmakers were rejected at the polls.
Another six years later, 30 out of the 73 Representatives were also reelected, which amounts to 41%, indicating that 43 Representatives didn’t return to the Legislature. Eight (8) of those 43 lawmakers did not contest for reelection, which means that only 35 Representatives actually lost the elections.