The outgoing Liberian Senate Pro Tempore said that while there were some flaws in the December 20 special senatorial election, Liberians must respect and improve on their electoral process. Senator Gbehzongar Findley of Grand Bassa County lost his seat to Jonathan Kaipay of the opposition Liberty Party. Elections Commission Chair Jerome Korkoya announced the final results Saturday. It appears the ruling Unity Party will have won seven or eight Senate seats when the legislative body reconvenes next month.
Articles about voting issues in The Republic of Liberia.
A much-postponed election for half the seats in Ebola-hit Liberia’s Senate has been put back until the weekend — but cannot be further delayed, the country’s electoral commission said Monday. The vote for 15 seats in the upper house of parliament has been postponed twice already as the epidemic ravaged the impoverished west African nation.The National Elections Commission (NEC) said the poll will now be held on December 20. Football star George Weah — who played for Chelsea and AC Milan before retiring from the game in 2003 — and the son of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Robert Sirleaf, are among the 139 candidates in the running for a seat.
Officials in Ebola-stricken Liberia have postponed senatorial elections elections until the end of the week, while some urged calling off the vote for fear the results would not be credible. Ebola has killed nearly 3,200 people this year in Liberia, and many question whether elections can be held at all under such circumstances. The elections, first scheduled in October, were supposed to be held Monday, but have been moved back to Saturday. It was not immediately clear whether the extra days would be sufficient delay to address the logistical problems posed by Ebola.
The deadly Ebola virus continues to elude control in Liberia, with the outbreak retreating in some regions and popping up in others. And now, with Liberian Senate elections tentatively slated for next week, a debate is raging about whether it is safe to hold a vote. “People are going to march into the same polling booth, and touch the same pens, possibly,” says New York Times correspondent Sheri Fink, who has spent much of the last two months in Liberia and neighboring Sierra Leone. “How do you protect people in that case?” Liberia’s Senate election was originally slated for October 14, but was moved to December 16. The country’s Supreme Court is considering petitions filed by civil society groups who would like to see a further postponement. But most Liberian political parties are pushing for a vote. The court’s ruling is expected on Friday.
At long last the Supreme Court of Liberia Monday conducted hearing into the much awaited writ of prohibition filed before the court to halt the pending Senatorial election, but the fate of the election hangs as the court failed to state when the next hearing is expected to take place. The writ of prohibition was filed by several political parties and eminent Liberians at the Supreme Court against the National Elections Commission (NEC) calling for a halt to the December 16, 2014 Senatorial election due to the outbreak of the Ebola Virus in the country, coupled with constitutional violations. Last week it was widely speculated that the high court was to hear the writ of prohibition that led to the current stay order placed on the December 16, 2014 senatorial election, but the hearing failed as Chief Justice Francis Korkpor announced in open court that there was no hearing assigned by the high court on the matter. Monday’s hearing at the Chamber of Supreme Court, which lasted for nearly nine-hours was witnessed by several Liberians from various backgrounds including ordinary citizens as lawmakers with vested interest in the outcome of the writ also turned out.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Thursday banned all rallies and other mass gatherings in Monrovia before the senatorial election scheduled in less than two weeks, asserting that they risked worsening the spread of the Ebola outbreak. The president’s order also extended the ban to 30 days after the election. The order came just as Liberia appears to have made progress in slowing the disease, which has also severely afflicted neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone, and has spread to Mali.
Despite the deadly Ebola outbreak, Liberia began campaign activities for the Special Senatorial Election, which will see 15 members of the senate elected in December. The National Elections commission said it would go ahead and conduct the election on December 16, 2014. “In keeping with the revised timeline for the 2014 Special Senatorial Election, the Commission is pleased to announce that political campaigns will commence on Thursday, November 20, 2014 and end 24 hours before Polling Day,” said Jerome Korkoya, chairman of the election commission. Supporters of former soccer star George Weah and Robert Sirleaf, the son of Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and a former head of the National Oil Company, turned out in their numbers to begin the campaign on Thursday in Monrovia. The President’s son will face Wiah in the race for senator of Montserrado County, in which Liberia’s capital is situated. Political rallies kicked off amid the sound of ambulances plying the streets, taking sick people to Ebola Treatment Units across the country.
The President of the Republic of Liberia, Her Excellency Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, acting pursuant to powers vested in her by both the Constitution of Liberia and the Declaration of the State of Emergency, has in a Proclamation issued on October 4, 2014, suspended the holding of the October 14, 2014 Senatorial Elections. A Foreign Ministry release says the President has also suspended all voting rights associated and connected with the Senatorial Elections.
Liberia’s National election Commission Tuesday launched the National Voter Roll updated in preparations for the 2014 special Senatorial election. The voter roll update according to the NEC is the process of listing all those registered to vote in a Particular areas. The list will be compiled and kept by the NEC. The process is also expected to provide uniform and legitimate voter identification cards to all eligible (18 yrs) citizens of Liberia. Speaking at the official launch, NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome Kokoya said, the process will capture Liberians who have or will be turning 18 years before the date of the Special Senatorial Election and also those who have lost their voter cards or change location. Said Kokoya: “Eligible voters who for one reason or the other could not register during last voter’s registration exercise in 2011, and those who have changed locations within the country, please visit the nearest voter roll update so that you could be included on the voter roll in order to participate in the 2014 special senatorial election.”
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has nominated Counselor Jerome Kokoya as the next chairman of the country’s Elections Commission. But, the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) said Kokoya’ s nomination should be withdrawn because he is a member of the ruling Unity Party. CDC national chairman George Solo said his party will not participate in this year’s bi-election in Grand Bassa County if Sirleaf does not rescind the nomination of Kokoya. However, Kokoya said, while he once contested for a legislative seat on the ruling party’s ticket, it would not affect his role as election commission chairman. He said he’s legally qualified to be chairman.