All and sundry can be bear witness to the incessant incidents, especially the natural cause of death of lawmakers in the past couple of years. It is inevitably beyond human control and comprehension talking about when each man or woman will succumb to death. Death has been the cause of legislative vacancies than the other factors of expulsion and resignation in recent past. However, something is under human control. From such thing from the political science stand, it is the willingness to look at the realities within which you are operating and make amends.
Liberia is operating in the limitation of straitlaced budget-blighted perennially shortfalls. What this means for unintended budgeting that comes with the conduct of by-elections is of grave consequence to affect other crucial spending areas.
For us, we believe that it is not healthy way to proceed for a weak economy. Without sounding doom saying, there could be a year of lawmakers’ death by natural causes galore. The government will run broke looking for by elections money in millions of dollars to fill the vacant seats.
So ECC is suggesting a plausible way around Article 37. As it stands, it reads: in the event of a vacancy caused by death, resignation, and expulsions or otherwise, the presiding officer shall within 30 days notify the National Elections Commission(NEC) thereof. The NEC shall not later than 90 days thereafter cause by elections to be held…The caveat to this rule is that it must not coincide with the holding of a general elections.
We juxtapose the above with the new ECC proposition that makes case for the presiding officer to liaise with the political parties and nominate a replacement. The holding party convention presided by the NEC is of democratic conformity yet less costly than the by-elections.
But the ECC is saying let us throw the options to the people in a referendum to decide. This is the democratic acid test pass. For the downside to it all is that people will now have to run for legislative position or party tickets not as independent candidate. The debate agenda has just been floated for takers.