Dear Honorable Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay and Pro Temp Armah Jallah:
Please accept my compliments and best wishes on behalf of the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC).
The ECC is deeply concerned that as the country approaches the 2017 election year, a decision is yet to be reached between the National Election Commission (NEC) and the Legislature on setting a new threshold to reapportion constituencies for the 2017 presidential and legislative elections in keeping with Articles 80 (d) and (e) of the Liberian Constitution.
The ECC wishes to point out that in 2010 constituencies were not apportioned based on the 2008 census report in keeping with Constitutional provisions cited above. However, the Legislature through a joint resolution in 2010 instructed NEC to set a special threshold, thus adding nine additional seats to the existing 64 seats from the 2005 presidential and legislative elections. This joint resolution which was adopted by the NEC, contravened Article 80 (d) and (e) of the Liberian Constitution and has expired because it was dealing specifically with the 2011 general elections, and therefore this same formula cannot be used by NEC for the upcoming 2017 general elections.
Under our democratic system in Liberia, political representation is not based on registered voters, but rather on the population as determined by a census report. In view of the above statement, the ECC therefore calls on the Legislature to include on its agenda during this Special Session establishing a new threshold based on the 2008 census report, before the start of the voter registration process in February 2017.
We look forward to a favorable response as we all work to strengthen the country’s emerging and fragile democracy.
The ECC is a non-partisan professional network of civil society organizations that monitors, documents, and reports on election issues to promote transparency and accountability in the democratic process. The elections work of the ECC is conducted in partnership with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) with support from USAID.
If you need further information please do not hesitate to contact us at: 0886-554-109/+231-775-186-92/0886891850 and email [email protected]
Atty. Oscar Bloh