21 May 2018

Liberia: 'Broad Violation' - Former Gompa City Mayor Decries Suspension of By-Elections

Former Gompa City Mayor Benjamin Dokpa has decried violations of some key provisions of the 1986 Liberian Constitution by the CDC led-government headed by President George Manneh Weah.

The then mayor named the provisions of the constitution violated by the CDC led government as Articles 37 and 39 respectively.

Article 37 provides that in the event of vacancy in the legislature caused by death, expulsion, resignation or otherwise, the National Elections Commission shall be notified by the presiding officer of the House in thirty (30) days and that the commission shall in 90 days conduct By-election to fill in said vacancy.

Currently, two seats are empty in the Senate as a result of the elections of George Weah and Jewel Howard Taylor of Montserrado and Bong counties as President and Vice President of the Republic of Liberia respectively.

But the National Elections Commission has not been able to conduct By-election in the two counties as required by law due to financial constraints.

The former Gompa lord mayor believes the inability of the commission to conduct By-election in the 90-day period in the name of no money is a gross violation of the Law.

In furtherance, Dopka has criticized the government for its inability to conduct Census in the Republic as provided by Article 39.

Article 39 states "the legislature shall cause a census in the Republic to be undertaken in ten years.

But the government has said it does not have the financial capability to conduct said exercise.

The former Gompa Mayor made these comments recently at the appreciation program organized by Nimba County District one Lawmaker, Representative Jeremiah Koung in Gompa.

When asked by journalists to comment on Dokpa's remark, the Deputy Speaker of the 54th National Legislature, Prince Moye acknowledged the violation of the Law and said the leadership of the House is working with the Executive branch and other agencies of government to conduct the two events.

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