ANNOUNCEMENT OF OFFICIAL RESULTS OF THE ELECTORAL DISTRICT #11,
SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE ACTING CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION (NEC), CLLR. ELIZABETH J. NELSON ON THE OCCASION MARKING THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF OFFICIAL RESULTS OF THE ELECTORAL DISTRICT #11, MONTSERRADO COUNTY REPRESENTATIVE BY-ELECTION
THURSDAY, 5 JULY 2012
RESIDENTS OF ELECTORAL DISTRICT # 11
REPRESENTATIVES OF POLITICAL PARTIES
MEMBERS OF THE PRESS
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;
On April 14, 2012 The Speaker of the Honorable House of Representatives, Hon. Alex Tyler, wrote a letter to the National Elections Commission (NEC) officially informing it about an existing vacancy in that August body created as a result of the death of Hon. Moses S. Tandanpolie, Sr., Representative of Electoral District # 11 Montserrado County, on March 16, 2012.
In view of the notification, The Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission took the decision to organize and conduct a Representative By-Election in Electoral District # 11 Montserrado County on July 3, 2012 to fill said vacancy.
This decision was in consonance with Article 37 of the Liberian Constitution which states that “In the event of a vacancy in the Legislature created 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….”
Honorable ladies and gentlemen, consistent with provisions of the 1986 Elections Law of Liberia, the National Elections Commission on April 25, 2012 issued a Writ of Election to the Elections magistrates of Upper and lower Montserrado County, authorizing them to proceed with the conduct of a By-Election in Electoral District # 11, Montserrado County in order to fill said vacancy in the House of Representatives.
The issuance of the Writ of Election was done simultaneously with the release of the timetable for the conduct of the by-election.
In line with the key dates of the By-Election, the nomination of candidates to contest the By-Election took place from May 4 to 18, 2012. During the nomination process, a Complaint was filed against the NEC by the aspirant of the CDC and Independent aspirant Edwin Zoeduah, over the refusal of the NEC to allow them submit their nomination papers to facilitate their respective participation in the process.
The Hearing Officer of the National Elections Commission ruled that even though the two aspirants were late, but maintained that the fifteen minutes lateness was not sufficient to deny them participation in the process.
He then ruled that the two aspirants be allowed to submit their nomination papers and if they meet the nomination requirement they should be allowed to participate in the election.
The ruling of the Hearing Officer was accepted to by the Legal Counsel of the NEC and an appeal was taken to the Board of Commissioners.
In its review, the Board of Commissioners could not obtain the required quorum. Therefore, the Hearing Officer’s ruling remained in full force and effect.
Subsequently, eleven candidates were notified by the NEC to contest the By-Election; they include four political parties- Unity Party, Liberty Party, National Patriotic Party, The Congress for Democratic Change- and Seven Independent Candidates.
Today, we have gathered to certificate the winner of the Electoral District # 11 Representative By-Election. When the people of Electoral District # 11 lined up in the rain on July 3, 2012 and ticked your name on the ballot, they consequently transferred their power to make day-to-day decisions in the governance of their district to you. The certificate we issue to you today is a testimony to that transfer of power.
The power that has been entrusted to you by the people comes with a great deal of expectation and responsibility.
Expectations to change their living conditions by the laws you make and the programs you undertake. Responsibility in the sense that each passing day you need to be reminded that there are people out there who are counting on you to move their lives forward. You cannot afford to disappoint their trust.
Let me take this time to thank the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES); the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), UNMIL, the Press, both national and international observers, party agents, the electorate of District # 11 and all of the candidates for the role they played in making the By-Election in Electoral District # 11 a great success.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, members of the press, the official results of the Tuesday, July 3, 2012 Representative By-Election of Electoral District # 11, Montserrado County is as follow:
READ RESULTS FROM THE TALLY SHEET (see result as attached)
Members of the Press, citizens of electoral district # 11, ladies and gentlemen, in view of the results just read, and by virtue of the power in me vested as Acting Chairman of the National Elections Commission, I, on behalf of the Board of Commissioners of the NEC, hereby declare J. Gabriel Nyenka of the Unity party, Winner of the Electoral District # 11 Montserrado County, Representative By Election.
At this time Honorable ladies and gentlemen, I call on Mr. Nyenka to come forward and receive his Certificate of Election as Representative of Electoral District # 11 Montserrado County. Let me read the inscriptions on the certificate.
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