BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa – After failing to appear at a legislative working session on electoral reform held in Buchanan, lawmakers want representatives of the National Elections Commission to appear before the House of Representatives.
The session ran from May 9 to May 10 and was organized by the House Standing Committee on Elections and Inaugurations. Its chairman, Rep. Alex Grant of Grand Gedeh’s third district, said the absence of NEC was intentional and that the legislature would act in response as soon as lawmakers returned to session.
“Definitely they have to appear before plenary to state the reason why they should not be held in contempt because this is undermining straightly the work of the legislature,” he said.
Because NEC is a major player in all electoral matters, Grant said their presence was needed to address some key issues and to present on the election laws.
NEC was listed first on the program sheet to make a presentation on the elections law and recommendations and many lawmakers present raised issues over the agency’s absence. Some deduced that the commission’s absence meant its leaders had no interest in the electoral reform process.
At times during presentations by other organizations, NEC representatives were needed to respond to or provide clarity on key issues and the commission’s absence was glaring.
The chairman of the Law Reform Commission, Boikai Karneh, said he would not attend any future electoral reform meeting if NEC was absent from it, adding that NEC was the primary party to the entire discussion. He noted that the entity’s presence could have added value to the legislative working session.
Rep. Grant has not yet said when NEC’s leaders would be asked to appear before lawmakers.
This article was produced with funding from Internews for the Citizens in Liberia Engaged to Advance Electoral Reform (CLEAR) project.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah