NEC to Postpone Lofa County Senatorial By-election, As Legislature Reconvene

Liberian Legislature is expected to reconvene on this Thursday, May 5, 2022.

According to a dispatch from the two press bureaus (House of Senate and Representative)  lawmakers will reconvene earlier than the date stipulated in the Act setting the Calendar of Adjournment for the Legislature.

It can be recalled, the Legislature closed recently, and was expected to resume officially on May 13 but has now signed a certificate to resume this week in order to attend to some emerging issues.

It is believe that one of the major reasons lawmakers are returning is a communication sent to them by the National Elections Commission (NEC) informing them of the NEC’s inability to conduct the Lofa County by-elections on the expected May 10, 2022.

However, according to the Secretary of the Senate, Narboroh Seingbe, more than 10 Senators signed the Certificate which constitutes more than one-fourth as required under the law.

The Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC) or the Supreme Court has been left with the opportunity to decide whether or not a candidate on the ticket of the former ruling Unity Party (UP) should be allowed to contest in the Special Senatorial By-Election in Lofa County on May 10.

The decision came after NEC Hearing Office claimed that he lacks jurisdiction to render any judgment in the matter due to the constitutional questions and concerns raised.

The NEC staff ruled that due to the constitutional issues, in this case, the NEC is hereby prohibited from proceeding with any action regarding the endorsement of the Unity Party’s candidate for the Lofa County Senatorial by-election until the Supreme Court considers the constitutional questions involved.

“WHEREFORE AND IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, and so as to allow the opportunity for the Honorable Supreme Court to possibly consider the constitutional questions raised in this matter, the National Elections Commission (NEC) is hereby prohibited from taking any further action or endorsement form or other documents put forth by defendant(s) herein regarding the fielding of a candidate until otherwise determined,” ruled Atty. Fomba M. Swaray, NEC hearing officer.  “It is worth noting that the Constitution governing documents of political parties are not written at the bar of the administrative forum. Hence, questions as to whether a political governing document is wise or unwise, are best directed at the political parties.”

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