MONROVIA, -Liberia’s’ former Defense minister and Senatorial aspirant for Lofa county, Brownie Samukai has said that the government is using the Covid-19 pandemic case as a supplementary excuse not to hold mid-term election.
“I am not saying we should not hold elections in December. Covid-19 is being used as a supplementary excuse that we never anticipated in the first place. What was anticipated in the first place was budget. Budget was under our control in 2019-2020. Show me in the budget in February where they anticipated that covid-19 was coming,” he said on Truth FM radio Monday.
The National Elections Commission is due to hold mid-term senator election in October this year, according to the constitution. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government said it was considering of holding it in December this year or next year.
The NEC said it would need US$17.6M dollars to conduct the special senatorial election and the referendum in 20202.
Minister Samukai said COVID-19 should not be used as an excuse to postpone the elections. “The government should be honest to tell the Liberian people the truth that there is no money.” He said it was anticipated that elections would have taken place in 2020 and the needed planning and purchase of materials would been done. He added, “at that time, budget was made for the elections. If the government had allocated the funds available, we would not have been talking about this.”
He said, “let us accept the constraints and be truthful to the Liberian people. Say we have money problem and because we have it, these are the steps, So that we will not be able to fund the elections commission. If all theses things were discussed before, we would not have been to where we are today, especially political part,” he said.
According to him, government should do all it can to hold the mid-term elections.