The National Elections Commission (NEC) Monday certified 12 candidates to contest the Senatorial by-elections in Bong and Montserrado Counties.
Josiah Marvin Cole, Fairnoh Theo Gbilah, Prince Togar Kollie, Dr.Henrique Flomo Tokpa and Orando Koimene Zarwolo are individuals that will be vying for the seat in Bong County.
While Bernard DJ Blue Benson, Jr, Josephine George Francis, Representative Saah Hardy Joseph, Finley Karngar, Mark Augustine Keshen, Representative Yekeh Yarkpaworlue Kolubah and Michael Doe Tipayson are qualified for the Montserrado County Senate race.
NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoya has declared campaign opened. The campaign period commences July 2, 2018 and will end at midnight on Sunday, July 29, 2018, he said.
“Candidates in the bye-elections are advised to go about their campaign in a peaceful manner void of violence and in keeping with the laws of Liberia and more specifically those controlling the electoral process,” Korkoya told a press conference.
According to the elections management body’s chief, 80% of pre-packed materials for the senatorial-by-election arrived in the country on July Sunday, July 1, 2018 aboard a chartered flight and that the remaining 20% is expected on or before July 7, 2018.
The Senate seats were rendered vacant following the December 2017 election of then Senators – George Weah and Jewel Howard Taylor as President and Vice President of the Republic of Liberia.
Article 37 of the country’s 1986 Constitution demands that such vacancy be filled within 90 days. But the trading of accusations and counter accusations between the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the NEC regarding lack of funding and overstating of election budget delayed the polls beyond constitutional timeframe.
A joint legislative resolution however authorized the election body to conduct the Senate election this month and NEC has announced July 31 as polling day. The legislative joint resolution has also been termed as unconstitutional by legal minds and the Elections Coordinating Committee whose petition before the Supreme Court was denied.
Korkoya said Monday government has contributed $2.2million United States dollars to finance the election, while international partners provided US$577,465.45.