The election coordinating committee is among other things calling for an amendment in article 37 of the Liberian constitution to the abolished the issue of by-elections.Speaking in an ECC press conference on Thursday on Monday, Malcom Joseph mentioned that the intent is to reduce electoral expenses since according to him, by-elections raises question of legitimacy of political representation due to the low turn-out during voting.
He explained that when a lawmaker dies or resigns, an election should be conducted in consultation with the NEC between qualified individuals within the party of said lawmaker to filled in the vacant seat.
Joseph asserted that this will make it mandatory for candidates desiring to contest in an election to belong to a political party.
Accordingly, he disclosed that the ECC had formulated a new proposition to qualify candidates wanting to partake in an electoral process.
This new proposition will prohibit member of the House of Representatives from contesting for a vacant seat in the senate unless he or she resigns his or her position, same will also apply to the senate.
The ECC also wants section 2.1 of the election law amended so that the appointment process for the board of commissioners is inclusive and broad-based representing the diversity of society through a pubic vetting exercise.
“As part of its advocacy strategy, the ECC will organize legislative-constituency town hall meetings in the electoral districts across the country to create the opportunity for citizens and their lawmakers to dialogue on this important democratic exercise. Additionally, the ECC will continue engagements with the NEC, traditional, religious leaders, and women and youth and will also undertake a robust media advocacy campaign.”
The (ECC) is a civil society platform, comprising of six organizations that observe elections in Liberia to include: Actions for Genuine Democratic Alternatives (AGENDA), Center for Democratic Governance (CDG), Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP) Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD), NAYMOTE-Partners for Democratic Development (NAYMOTE-PADD), West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP), and the Women’s NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL).
This electoral reform process is implemented in partnership with the Liberia accountability voice initiative (LAVI) with support from USAID.TNR.