LIBERIA: Senate Rejects NEC’s Proposed Senatorial Election Format

The Liberian Senate has rejected the National Elections Commission (NEC) proposal to hold segmented Special Senatorial Elections on December 16, 2014.

The decision was reached in an Executive Session of the Senate on Thursday at the Capitol Building, according to the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, Dan Morias.

Addressing journalists following the meeting, Morias said it is unconstitutional to hold part of the elections as by-elections when incumbent senators are alive, not impeached or incapacitated.

NEC had proposed to the National Legislature that the Special Senatorial Election be held on December 16 in counties where Ebola cases are low and counties with high cases be treated as by-elections at a later date.

The Constitutional date for election is the second Tuesday in October of each election year, but this year’s poll was postponed due to the Ebola epidemic.

Morias, who was speaking on behalf of the Senate after the Executive Session, suggested the polls be held when the Ebola virus is eradicated from the country.

He disclosed that the Senate has constituted a conference committee to meet with the House of Representatives to discuss reasons for its decision and how to find an amicable solution to the situation.

Senator Morias recounted that the House of Representative on November 11 passed a resolution to hold the elections on December 16, but did not approve holding the election in segments.

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