The National Elections Commission (NEC) has set February 28 as the date for the conduct of the pending by-election in Lofa County Electoral District #1.
NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoyah said pursuant to Article 37 of the Liberian Constitution, the Commission has no other option but to conduct the by-election to fill the vacancy at the Legislature created by the death of Lofa County Representative Eugene Fallah Kparkar.
Article 37 of the 1986 Constitution states that: “In the event of a vacancy in the Legislature caused by death, resignation, expulsion or otherwise, the presiding officer shall within 30 days notify the elections commission thereof not later than 90 days thereafter cause for a by-election to be held. Provided that where such vacancy occurs within 90 days prior to the holding of such elections, the filling of the vacancy shall await the holding of such elections.”
In line with the provision, the House of Representatives on December 7, 2016, sent a letter of notification to the NEC about the vacancy at the House as a result of Eugene Fallah Kparkar’s death.
As such, Korkoyah said on January 13, the NEC will close the nomination process for candidates, while the final list of qualified candidates vying to fill the vacancy will be published on January 23.
This exercise, he said, will be followed by the issuance of the Writ to the Magistrate of Elections in Lofa commanding them to conduct a by-election in District #1 on February 28 to fill the vacancy in the House of Representatives.
Other timelines associated with the by-election include: January 7-15, Civic and Voters’ Education (CVE) Campaign for replacement of lost and damaged voter ID cards; January 13-26, accreditation of party agents, media and observers for polling day; January 16, notification to candidates of acceptance or rejection; January 19, last day for candidates to appeal against rejection; January 21, last day for decision on objection and claims, launch of CVE and gender campaign for by-election; and January 23, final list of candidates published. From January 23 to February 26, NEC will conduct publication of voting precincts and political campaign; and March 2, announcement of final results of election after the February 28 poll.