By Grace Q. Bryant
An aspirant in the pending election for District 2 in Bong County, James K. Saybay, has filed for a Writ of Mandamus to the Justice-in-Chambers, Joseph Nagbe, against the National Elections Commission (NEC) for failure to conduct the by-election in the county.
He based his assertion on Article 37 of the 1986 Constitution that mandates the NEC to conduct a by-election within 90 days after the declaration of the vacancy by the House of Representatives and it states that, “In the event of a vacancy in the Legislature caused by death, resignation, expulsion or otherwise, the presiding officer shall within 30 days notify the Election Commission thereof.”
According to the petitioner, since the 2020 senatorial election where Prince Moye who served as a Representative for that District emerged as winner, that district’s seat had been declared vacant in the House of Representative.
Saybay informed the high court justice that the NEC’s failure to timely conduct a by-election in the district has unconstitutionally deprived him and the residents of the district the right to a representation in the Legislature.
Article 77(b) of the Constitution gives Saybay, like all other citizens desirous of participating in the democratic political process of the Republic the right to make a representation in the House of Representatives.
Cllr. Lavali Supuwood, who is representing the petitioner, said the Writ of Mandamus will compel the NEC to perform its constitutional duty and prayed Justice Nagbe to grant the petition and mandate the NEC to cause a by-election to be held in the district and grant unto petitioner other relief as the court may deem just and equitable.