The National Elections Commission (NEC) has finally announced that the date for the pending senatorial by-election for Montserrado and Bong Counties is July 31, 2018. The date is a result of a joint resolution from the 54th legislature.
According to Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya, Chairman of NEC, in keeping with Section I of the resolution, the Senate and House of Representatives resolved that the by-election be conducted no later than July 31, 2018.
“I am pleased to inform you that the National Elections Commission has received Joint Resolution LEG-003/2018 by the 54th Legislature of the Republic of Liberia setting the date for the Senatorial By-elections in Bong and Montserrado Counties.
“In keeping with the joint resolution, the NEC has set Tuesday, July 31th, 2018 as the date of the by-elections.” Chairman Korkoya also announced the names of 12 qualified candidates to contest the elections. Five have registered to contest in Bong County while the remaining seven are set to battle it out in Montserrado.
Candidates qualified to contest in Bong are Josiah Marvin Cole, Fairnoh Theo Gbilah, Prince Togar Kollie, Henrique Flomo Tokpa and Orando Koimene Zarwolo while Montserrado contestants are Bernard ‘DJ Blue’ Benson Jnr, Josephine George Francis, Saah Hardy Joseph, Finley Y. Karngar, Mark Augustine Keshen, Yekeh Yarkpaworlue Kolubah and Micheal Doe Tipayson.
“In view of the above, I am pleased on behalf of the Board of Commissioners to declare campaign for the 2018 Senatorial By-election open. The campaign period commences today and will end at midnight on Saturday, July 29, 2018,” Korkoya announced.
The NEC chairman advised candidates in the by-elections to go about their campaign activities in a peaceful manner void of violence and in keeping with the laws of Liberia.
“The NEC has also amended the Writ of Elections issued to magistrates of the two counties to reflect the new date,” Cllr. Korkoya further announced.
He also informed everyone that 80 percent of “pre-packed materials” for the senatorial by-election arrived in the country on Sunday, July 1, aboard a chartered flight. The remaining 20 percent are expected on or before July 7, 2018.
The Elections Commission Chairman expressed his gratitude to the government for making allotment of the remaining US$690,526 for the successful hosting of the by-election. He, however, disclosed that the money was in the process of being disbursed to the Commission.
The amount brings the Liberian government’s total contribution to US$2,200,464.
It is also important to note that NEC partners including, IFES, UNDP and others provided budgetary support of US$577,465.45 towards the conduct of the by-election.