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Tension At The Capital …Over Plans To Postpone Election Dates

By Alex Yomah
Tension is said to be brewing amongst members of the House of Representatives over plans to postpone the pending Special senatorial elections as well as the 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections’ dates.
Sources at the Legislature hinted that some members of the House of Representatives are currently rallying signatures for a resolution that will be forwarded to the Liberian Senate to that effect.
According to our legislative sources, over 11 representatives, majority of whom are opposition lawmakers are fiercely resisting the purported planned action and have begun resisting by indicating that any attempt to abrogate the Elections Law will meet stiffer national resistance from the people of Liberia.
The resolution when crafted is intended to push the Special Senatorial elections scheduled for October 13 , 2020 to January 2021 and to also extend the 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections to 2024.
An opposing representative who wants to not be named confirmed the planned action and pointed fingers at his colleagues who are members of the ruling political party as the masterminds.
He warned against particularly postponing the 2023 general elections without justifiable reasons and noted that the United States of America where the Coronavirus is ravaging has a pending election which has not been postponed.
“What I heard them discussing as reason for their action is that no one knows when the Covid-19 will end but my respond is that, if that is the case, nobody also knows whether or not the virus will still be raging up until 2021- 2022.,” my source explained.
“We have consistently warned against abrogating the law. Constitutionally, the President will address the full Legislature to deliver his annual message in January 2021 and by October of this year, 15 Senators’ tenure will be expired. If we as the government don’t conduct the pending special elections before January 2021 automatically, the government will break down because there would be no quorum for the Senate to carry out its function,” another well-learned lawmaker opined.
He said if that happens, there will be constitutional catastrophe and political brawl which the government will not have the strength to contain.
But what appears to be a retort that the rumor, a member of the opposition said if President George Weah approves that resolution even if it passes at the Legislature to change the dates, he will get what he wants from the Liberian people.
Liberty Party Assistant Secretary, Daniel Sando responding to the arising rumors at the Legislature on a local radio station said that will be expensive joke that the Liberian leader would not want to venture into.
“If President Weah stays in office one day beyond his constitutional date, he will get what he is looking for,” he said thereby reminding the Liberian leader not to venture into vices that have the penchant to plunge Liberia into conflict.
He noted that President Weah has no experience when Liberians were killing each other during the 14 years civil crunch alleging that the Liberian leader was in Europe playing football.
On May 12, barely a week now after the National Elections Commission (NEC) wrote the Liberian leader for the extension of the pending special senatorial elections, President Weah has written the Legislature to endorse the NEC’s request.
The President in his communication addressed to House Speaker Bhofal Chambers asked members of that body to extend the pending senatorial election and referendum from October 13, to December 15, as was also indicated by NEC in its communicaton.
In President Weah’s letter dated on Tuesday, May 12, and read in plenary, he quoted the NEC as saying that, “The October 13 Special Senatorial Election schedule is not feasible and this is because major preparatory activities, such as the Voter Registration Update [VRU], International Procurement for the VRU, recruitment and training of the temporary staff are among the things that have not been completed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The President’s communication further points out to the grounding of flights, closed borders, the lockdown which is restricting movements, social distancing and other activities which have been imposed to contain the virus as actions for which the NEC’s request should be granted.
The communication was forwarded to the House’s Committees on Elections, Judiciary and Health for revision and to report to plenary for discussion this week.

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