-Another By-Elections if…
By Jackson C. Clay, Jr.
The Liberian Government will soon be knocking the doors of her many partners in an embarrassing manner within three months soliciting funds to conduct another by-elections in two of the 73 electoral districts if the two candidates on the ticket of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in the impending senatorial by-elections in Bong and Montserrado Counties are elected after Tuesday July 31, 2018 elections.
The governing party has earlier complained of the lack money to conduct the two by-elections in the two counties, which delayed the conduct of the elections from May 8, 2018 to tomorrow July 31, 2018.
However, despite the lack of money syndrome from the CDC led government, it has fielded two of its current Representatives, Saah Joseph of Montserrado County electoral district#13 and Josiah Marvin Cole of Bong county electoral district three respectively.
According to the National Elections Commission (NEC) facts sheet, nationally, there are 2.1 million registered voters. Of this figure, Montserrado has 778,291, while Bong has 208,123. The combined total of registered voters in the two counties (Bong and Montserrado) is 986,414 or 45 percent of the total registered voters in Liberia.
The two counties have a total of 2,292 polling places with 1,790 of these in Montserrado County and Bong County accounting for 502. This represents a total of 43 percent of the total number of 5,390 polling places in Liberia.
If the two candidates on the ticket on the CDC are elected as anticipated, the government will begin to start looking for another fund to conduct by-elections in the two electoral districts instead of using the money for another development in the country. An estimated US$2.7million is being used for the successful conduct of the two by-elections.
Looking at the popularity of the ruling party and the love Liberians have for its standard bearer now President of the country, Ambassador George Manneh Weah, there is a very high possibility that the two candidates might win the elections in both counties, a situation which could create other by-elections in the country.
Already, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor is in her native Bong County canvassing for the party’s candidate, Representative Josiah Marvin Cole, while high officials of the party are in Montserrado County campaigning for Representative Saah Joseph to win the seat.
The two current Representatives are elected for six years each and terms to be completed in the senate if elected are for six years each, something Liberians see as disservice to them.
According to the National Elections Commission (NEC) chairman, Cllr. Jerome Korkoyah, all of the processes leading to the holding of the July 31, 2018 by-elections are well on course for the smooth conduct of the elections in the country.
The NEC chairman indicated that NEC has concluded nomination of candidates for the two counties, thus, twelve candidates have been fully cleared to contest the upcoming by-elections within the two counties.
It can be recalled that the Liberian Senate, in keeping with the constitution and its by-law informed the National Elections Commission (NEC) of vacancies within that body which were occasioned by the elections of the current President and Vice President, Ambassador George Weah and Jewel Howard Taylor respectively.