Rep. Dixon Seboe Wants All By-Elections Postponed To 2020 Midterm
2019-By-Election-Postponement: Liberia has over the last one year experienced economic pinch with regards to it’s budget and revenue collection due to the low cost of its main exports on the global market and other domestic issues.
Finance Minister Samuel Tweah has alluded to the growing crisis surrounding the economic and urged a need to budget wisely which would not temper with the cash generating based of the budget and revenue.
Considering this and others, Montserrado County District 16 Representative Dixon Seboe has proposed to the Plenary of the House of Representatives the postponement of all subsequent by-elections to the 2020 midterm election that may be due after the July 2 senatorial and representative by-elections in Montserrado County in order ensure proper budgetary planning for execution.
In fulfillment of Article 37 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, the National Elections Commission (NEC) announced July 2 as the holding of the by-election in Montserrado to fill the vacant seats caused by the deaths of Sen. Geraldine Doe-Sheriff and Rep. Adolph Lawrence of District 15 and the midterm 2020 election.
According to Rep. Seboe the country is currently challenged economically and the implementation of unplanned items in the budget would result to economic crisis.
Rep. Seboe’s communication to Plenary indicated plead with President Weah to declare an economic emergency which will lead to a resolution from the Legislature postponement all by-election that may occur after July 2, 2019.
“The Laws are made and executed for the best interest of the people in general and I am sure that you will agree with me that this venture as requested is in the best interest of our people. We must act and act now,” the communication noted.
“One way to save the state is to ask the President to evoke his powers by resolution from us the people’s deputy to postpone all by-election that may arise if not we may have more financial crisis, which would be difficult to handle taking into consideration our already squeeze revenue envelop”, Rep. Seboe mentioned.
Provocation of emergency powers lies in the hands of the President of the Republic and it is used during disease emergencies, crisis and among others within the country.
It can be recalled that the Ebola Crisis in Liberia in 2014 forced the Country to postpone midterm election through the provocation of emergency by the former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf due to the health crisis which the country was faced with.
Rep. Seboe’s proposal comes in the wake of a pending by-election which will be held in Grand Cape Mount as the result of the death of its Senator Edward Dagoseh recently at the SOS Clinic in Monrovia.
By-Elections are not captured in the planning of the National budget or under the National Elections Commission. NEC has complained over the lack of resources to conduct by-elections throughout Liberia owing to the limited allotment of 3 million for election activities in Liberia.
A motion which carried a unanimous vote by Plenary Thursday, June 6, 2019 on Rep. Seboe’s Communication was stated by Nimba County District 1 Representative Jeremiah Koon indicating that the communication be received and sent to the Committees on Ways, Means and Finance, Judiciary and Elections and Inauguration to report in two weeks.
Pundits believe that Rep. Seboe proposal would undermine the development of other counties that lack representation at the National Legislature which is by law while stressing that there is a need for government to increase contingency within the budget to cover unforeseen events that may arise.