MONROVIA, Montserrado – The legislature has passed a joint resolution to postpone the midterm senatorial elections and national referendum, previously scheduled for October 13, to December 8, 2020.
Liberians were initially expected to go to the polls on October 13 to vote to replace 15 of the 30 existing senators whose nine-year terms will be expiring at the end of the year. Voters will also be deciding whether to approve changes to several articles of the constitution, including provisions to limit the terms of senators from nine to seven years and that presidents and representatives to five years.
The resolution noted that in order to conduct free, fair, transparent, and credible elections and have elected senators seated on the second working Monday of January 2021 as mandated by the constitution, the election should be held in December.
During its session on Tuesday, June 23, the legislature resolved that the postponement was necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and prior financial difficulties.
The resolution stressed that the Executive Branch should adhere to appropriations already made for elections and make the funds immediately available.
The lawmakers also called on the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission to expedite the bidding process to avoid any delay in procuring the elections materials.
The legislature also mandated the National Elections Commission to use the 2017 Final Voter Registration Roll for the upcoming elections, after updates are done. They mandated the elections commission to work with stakeholders and political parties to clean up the voter roll to enhance the legitimacy and authenticity of the election.
Lawmakers also tasked NEC with provided a progress report to the legislature every month regarding concerns and issues, in order to ensure that the election is held in December of this year.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah