The Naymote Partners for Democratic Development (NAYMOTE) is deeply concerned about the recent statement from the Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC) published in the Liberian Observer, February 26, 2020, online edition that the “NEC HAS NOT RECEIVED A DIME FOR THE OCTOBER SENATORIAL ELECTION”.
According to the media report, Chairman Korkoya informed the Liberian Senate that; “if by the 30th of May 2020 the registration process is not completed and credible roll established, the possibility of conducting elections by October this year will be seriously handicapped.”
NAYMOTE foresees a constitutional crisis. The nine-year tenure for those senators elected in 2011 will expire this October, ending the tenure of 15 of the 30 senators elected in 2011. This also means that the Senate will be run by only fifteen (15) Senators and the expired seats will be vacant until elections are held.
The Constitution is the supreme and fundamental law of Liberia and its provisions shall have binding force and effect on all authorities and persons throughout the Republic; according to Article 2 of the Constitution.
Article 45, slated that the Senate shall be composed of Senators elected for a term of nine years by the registered voters in each of the counties, but a Senator elected in a by-election to fill a vacancy created by death, resignation, expulsion or otherwise, shall be so elected to serve only the remainder of the unexpired term of office.
Eroding Articles 2 & 45 exposes Liberia’s democratic credentials negatively which challenges our governance and political systems as a nation. Therefore, Naymote Partners for Democratic Development is calling on the President of Liberia, Dr. George M. Weah as head of government to ensure adequate and immediate support to the National Elections Commission for the conduct of the midterm senatorial election as slated in the Constitution. This must be done urgently to avoid a constitutional crisis and negative implications on the government.
Eddie Jarwolo, NAYMOTE’s Executive Director says: ‘’This is unacceptable for elected leaders who took an oath to defend and protect the constitution to undermine the very constitution. The conduct of the midterm senatorial election on time cannot be deferred. We call on the Liberian Legislature to strengthen their oversight functions and ensure the midterm senatorial election is held on time’’.
NAYMOTE is suggesting the revision of the current national budget to allocate timely funding for the conduct of a credible, transparent and fair election in October this year.
It must be noted that the conduct of a credible election will pave the way for 2023 general elections and build public trust in Liberia’s democracy – something worth investing in for the government.
NAYMOTE is a good governance and research institution established in 2001 to promote democracy, transparency, accountability, human rights and participatory governance in Liberia.