Liberian Senate Notes Pres. Sieleaf’s Letter On Election Suspension In The Face Of Ebola Fight

The House of Senate has noted a letter from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf calling for early consultations on the National Elections Commission (NEC)  recommendation for a shift in the October 14, 2014 senatorial elections, while awaiting formal presentation from the commission.

The President’s letter, dated August 7, 2014 borders on two cardinal points raised by the NEC, which makes it unable to conduct a “free, fair and transparent elections” if not addressed properly by relevant authorities.

According to the Liberia News Agency, the Chief Executive raised concern about NEC informing the Legislature of its decision and inability to conduct free, fair and transparent elections, due to the state of emergency impeding its functions to conduct credible elections in the country.

The letter further quotes NEC as saying that due to prevailing circumstances that are preventing public gatherings, restriction on travels, it would be unable to train poll workers, conduct voter and civic education, and campaigning would not be done in a timely fashion.

After debates on the matter, Senator Mobutu Nyenpan of Sinoe County noted that though the move for consultation was in the right direction, the question that needs urgent redress is the issue of lending legitimacy to the new date and by whom.

Even though his concern was not addressed, Senator Abel Massaley of Cape Mount County thinks that legally, their tenure ends in January 2015, so there is still time to conduct the special senatorial elections in all the 15 counties of Liberia.

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