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THE ISSUANCE OF A WRIT

SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE ACTING CO-CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION (NEC) ON THE OCCASION OF THE ISSUANCE OF A WRIT OF ELECTION THE RELEASE OF THE TIMETABLE FOR THE CONDUCT OF A REPRESENTATIVE BY-ELECTION IN ELECTORAL DISTRICT #11, MONTSERRADO COUNTY.

WEDNESDAY, 25 APRIL 2012
 
REPRESENTATIVES OF POLITICAL PARTIES
MEMBERS OF THE PRESS
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
 
The Presiding Officer of the Honorable House of Representatives, in a letter dated April 14, 2012 and addressed to the Acting Chairman of the National Elections Commission, Cllr. Elizabeth J. Nelson, officially informed the NEC of an existing vacancy created in the House of Representatives as a result of the death of Hon. Moses S. Tandanpolie, Sr., Representative of Electoral District Number 11 Montserrado County on March 16, 2012.
 
In view of the notification, The Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission has reached a decision to organize and conduct a Representative By-Election in Electoral District # 11 Montserrado County on July 3, 2012.
 
This decision is 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, In view of the decision of the Board of Commissioners and consistent with the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, I wish to announce that the nomination period for candidates desirous of contesting the Representative By-Election in Electoral District # 11 Montserrado County, shall begin on May 4, and end on May 18, 2012.
 
Candidates of political parties that are in good standing may be nominated in accordance with the new eligibility criteria. Any candidate accepted by the NEC who desires to bow out of the July 3, 2012 Representative By-Election shall be withdrawn under the joint signatures of the head of the party, alliance or coalition, and the candidate by not later than 24 hours before publication of the final list of candidates.
 
In the case of an independent candidate, his or her signature shall be sufficient notice of such withdrawal. No independent candidate, party, alliance, coalition or candidate of such party, alliance or coalition may withdraw an approved candidature after the final list of candidates has been published.
 
The NEC and its partners UNDP, IFES UNMIL among others, have already begun preparatory activities for conducting the By-Election and the Commission wishes to state here that it will remain engaged with registered political parties, alliances and coalitions, aspirant independent candidates and civil society organizations to ensure a smooth and transparent process in District # 11 during this Representative By-Election.
 
The release of the time table today is being done simultaneously with the issuance of a Writ of Elections of the Representative By-Election as required by section 4.3 (2) of the New elections Law of 1986. This writ would authorize the Magistrates of Upper and Lower Montserrado County to proceed with the conduct of a Representative By-Election in Electoral District # 11, Montserrado County in order to fill the vacant seat in the House of Representatives.
 
According to the final registration roll of 2011, Electoral District Number 11 consists of 33,811 registered voters, 20 voting precincts and 78 polling places.
 
NOMINATION REQUIREMENTS AND ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR ASPIRANT CANDIDATES
 
Candidates of registered political parties, coalitions and alliances and independent candidates who meet the requirement laid down by the constitution and the election law may contest the July 3, 2012 Representative By-Election in Electoral District Number 11, Montserrado County.
  
The National Elections Commission wishes to emphasize the following:
1.     That The constitutional requirements under Article 30 (b) that a representative candidate must be domiciled in the constituency (In this case, electoral district) to be represented not less than one year prior to the time of the election, is now in-force and will be applied to this by-election.
2.     That all candidates nominated and accepted for this electoral district in the 2011 election may be re-nominated
3.     That a new candidate may be nominated. He /she is required to comply with and meet all the criteria required for the acceptance of a candidate;
4.     That all aspirant candidates must now meet the following eligibility criteria in addition to other requirements:
-         He /she must be a Liberian Citizen
-         He/she must have attained the age of 25 years
-         He /she must be a tax payer
-         He or she must be domiciled in the constituency (In this case electoral district) to be represented not less than one year prior to the time of the election.
5.     That Those Political party, alliances and coalitions endorsing candidates, must have an office in the district, a bank account with an updated balance of not less than USD10, 000.00 or its Liberian Dollar equivalence.
  
PUBLICATION OF THE LIST OF QUALIFIED CANDIDATES
 
The final list of qualified candidates for the District # 11 Representative By-Election in Montserrado County will be published on June 6, 2012.
 
Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, the National Elections Commission remains committed to conducting free, fair and credible elections across Liberia.
 
 
I Thank You!
 
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