One of Liberia’s oldest opposition political party, the United People’s Party has added its voice to the delay of the Montserrado and Bong Counties Senatorial by-election and has issued a press release signed by the Party’s National Chairman, TQ Harris see below the press statement by the UPP:
“On March 6, 2018, the Chairman of the National Elections Commission, Cllr. Jerome Korkoyah, informed the public that the Commission had, on February 13, 2018 received Notice from the Liberian Senate that two Senatorial seats were vacant – one for Montserrado County created as a result of the election of Senator George Manneh Weah as President, along with the election of Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor of Bong County as Vice President.
Hon. Korkoyah, in his capacity as Chairman of the Elections Commission, issued Writs instructing each of the Election Magistrates to conduct the Senatorial By-election in their respective magisterial areas, as required by Article 37 of the Constitution, on May 8, 2018, from the hour of 8:00 Ante Meridian to 6:00 Post Meridian.
On May 8, 2018, Chairman Korkoyah came back and announced that the Commission did not get the needed funding, and is, therefore, unable, to conduct the Senatorial by-elections in Montserrado and Bong Counties.
With this announcement, the Constitutional date for holding the two by-elections had been missed. So, now, there is a constitutional crisis: who has the authority to, constitutionally, set a new date for holding the by-elections, and how?
The Constitution does not contemplate any time when it is not adhered to.
No authority or Branch of the Government has the power to set Constitutional dates: NEC cannot; neither can the Legislature or the President, or the Supreme Court (Article 2).
It is important to note that, the foundation of Constitutional governance in Liberia will be undermined and weakened if we do otherwise.