The election of Montserrado County Senator, George M. Weah, as President and his Vice President, Senator Jewel Howard Taylor of Bong County, have created vacancies in the Senate which, according to the Constitution, should be filled within 120 days after the legislature resumes session early this month.
After the December 26 runoff presidential election, Senator Weah and his running mate, Jewel, were elected by a 270,000-vote margin over Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, the standard bearer of the ruling Unity Party, thereby creating the vacancies in the Senate.
According to Article 37 of the 1986 constitution, "In the event of a vacancy in the Legislature caused by death, resignation, expulsion or otherwise, the presiding officer shall within 30 days notify the Elections Commission thereof. The Elections Commission shall not later than 90 days thereafter cause a by-election to be held; provided that where such vacancy occurs within 90 days prior to the holding of general elections, the filling of the vacancy shall await the holding of such general elections. Within 30 to 90 days the NEC will hold an election."
It may be recalled that in the first round of the just ended elections 19 of the 30 Senators pledged their support to Vice President Boakai, who is the President of the Senate and first partisan of the ruling Unity Party, while in the runoff, six Senators added to the list of those who earlier pledged their support to him, totaling 25 Senators.
The remaining five Senators supported Senators Weah and Taylor of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
Hannah N. Geterminah