NEC Seeks Electoral Threshold for 2017 General Elections

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The National Elections Commission (NEC) has written the Senate seeking an electoral threshold on which it will conduct the 2017 General Elections.

In a letter dated July 19, 2016 addressed to the Senate through Pro Temp Armah Jallah, NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoya recalled that in 2010, the Legislature passed a Joint Resolution LEG-002 (2010) which set a special electoral threshold for the 2011 General Elections.

According to Chairman Korkoya, that threshold maintained the sixty-four electoral districts used by NEC for the conduct of the 2005 General Elections; added nine more electoral districts, thereby establishing a total of seventy-three (73) electoral districts; and mandated NEC to reapportion the districts accordingly.

“Pursuant to the authority granted it by both Joint Resolution LEG-002 and the Constitution of Liberia, the NEC reapportioned the seventy-three electoral districts provided for under Joint Resolution LEG-002, and the 2011 General Elections were also conducted accordingly.”

As the special threshold of Joint Resolution LEG-002 was limited to the 2011 General Elections, the NEC letter informed the Legislature that it will need a new threshold from that body for the 2017 General Elections, scheduled to be held on October 10, 2017.

The national electoral body noted that Section 1(b) of Joint Resolution LEG-002 states, among other things, “that following the 2011 General Elections, arrangements will be made for the conduct of a National Housing and Population Census.

If the census referred to in section 1(b) of Joint Resolution LEG-002 is unlikely to be conducted before the holding of the 2017 General Elections, the NEC respectfully submits that in order for it to satisfy the requirements of Article 80 (d&e) of the Constitution, and the principle of equal representation, the threshold for holding the 2017 General Elections should be based on the population figures released from the 2008 National Population and Housing Census.”

The letter has been sent to the Senate Committee on Autonomous Commissions & Agencies chaired by Grand Bassa County Senator Jonathan Kaipay.

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