Senate Endorses Election Postponement
By Winnie Dixon
MONROVIA, Sept 4 (LINA) - The Liberian Senate has unanimously endorsed the postponement of the Mid-term Senatorial Elections scheduled for October 14 this year following its joint committee's report.
The vote, which represented majority of the senators’ views, is in response to a communication from the National Elections Commission (NEC) informing the Upper House its inability to hold the elections due to the Ebola outbreak and subsequent imposition of a State of Emergency.
Following the reading of the report submitted by the Committees on Autonomous Agencies, Claims, Petitions and Judiciary during session Thursday, the senators agreed that it was “very impossible to hold the elections now, even if the situation were to improve this month.”
They said “elections all over the world are processes that have various proceedings and not an event,” and noted that the commission would need time to carry out important electoral activities, like training of poll staff and Civic and Voter’s Education throughout the country.
The committee said its report follows consultations with the National Elections and Law Reform Commissions, Legislative Information Service (LIS) and the U.N. Development Program.
It was therefore recommending that the Senate accepts the postponement of the elections and that steps be taken to absolve the NEC of such responsibilities for the non-conduct of the special elections.
The Committee further recommended that the Liberian Senate proceeds to process a joint resolution for the governance of the special elections.
“The reasons for such suspension was stated in the seven-count communication of the NEC acknowledging that the ongoing Ebola crisis which is unarguably equated to an uncontrollable warfare, has rendered the holding of the October Elections a mission impossible,” the report added.
Already, the House of Representatives has endorsed the postponement of the Mid-term Senatorial Election after the NEC chairman appeared in a closed door session to elaborate on the inability of the Commission to hold the polls.