As Political Parties Swells In Liberia, Senators Debate Reduction Of 20 Political Parties To 4, But NEC Certificates Additional 2 today

ARMAH-ZOLU-JALLAH1Serious debate on the reduction of over 22 political parties for Liberia is said to be ongoing at the Liberian parliament with majority calling for the reduction of the growing number of political parties to at least four before the holding of the 2017 general and presidential elections.

In addition to the over twenty-two political parties registered with the National Elections Commission (NEC), today the Commission has again certificated additional two political parties bringing to number to twenty-four registered political parties.

The debate which started yesterday with three members of the Liberian Senate including Senate Pro-Tempore Armah Jallah of Gbarpolu County, Dallas Gueh of Rivercess and Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence of Grand Bassa County called on members of that body to take appropriate measures to curtail the proliferation of political parties in the country.

Speaking further on the issues the three lawmakers noted that they remain in support of multiparty democracy, but stressed that the multiplicity of political parties, especially ones with similar platforms, is not healthy for the growing Liberian democracy.

“This matter, in our opinion, can be laid to rest when included among the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) propositions in the pending national referendum for the Liberian people to decide,” the Senators noted in a joint communication addressed to the Senate plenary on Thursday.

They said this will allow Liberians to engage in a competitive political process with fewer political parties modeled after great nations such as the United States of America, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ghana and India, among others.

The senators also recommended the inclusion in the CRC propositions that political parties falling consistently below the fourth place in all elections since 2007 form alliances based on the similarities of their ideologies.

The senators want the National Elections Commission prevent the formation of new political parties until Liberians are politically mature to handle issues of multiparty democracy.

They added that they are troubled by the impending danger that hovers over Liberia if the nation continues down this path.

The trio contended that the communication was born out of the desire to foster national cohesiveness and reconciliation which the nation is desperately in need of.

Meanwhile, the Senate has forwarded the communication to its relevant committees to further deliberate on the merits and demerits of the communication, and inform the body in two weeks.

As members of the senate is calling on the reduction of political parties in the Country, the National Elections Commission (NEC) certificated additional two political parties today, May 6, 2016 at its headquarters in Monrovia.

The two proposed political parties certificated are the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) of Senator Prince Y. Johnson and the Vision for Liberia Transformation (VOLT), according to a NEC release.

The accreditation of the two proposed political parties is consistent with Article 79 of the Constitution of Liberia and Chapter 2 Sub-Chapters A and B of the Regulations and Guidelines Relating to Political Parties and Independent Candidates.

The certification of the proposed political parties will bring to twenty-two the total number of registered political parties in the country.

Liberians who spoke to this news outlet expressed surprise to the growing number of political parties in Liberia, noting that Liberia with less than four million people to have such a number of huge political parties is a joke for the country.

“These people are not serious, why Liberia should the National Elections Commission have over twenty political parties registered, this is ridiculer. Let us learn to be serious,” Amos Cooper a Liberian who expressed his unhappiness about the growing number of political parties in Liberia told our reporter in an interview.

Amos is among dozens of other Liberians who have expressed their displeasure over the growing number of political parties in Liberia, wondering why NEC cannot set up a benchmark in the reduction of political parties.

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About Cholo Brooks 17162 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.