House Passes Act To Amend New Elections Law Of 1986

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The plenary of the House of Representatives has voted overwhelmingly to pass into law “An Act to Amend Certain Sections of the Liberian New Elections Law of 1986”.

   The motion to have the instrument passed was made by Sinoe County’s district #2 Representative, Sampson O. Wiah, during the 14th Day Sitting of the 5th Session of the 54th Legislature.

   Plenary’s decision was triggered by the report of the House’s Joint Committee on Elections and Inauguration and Judiciary, recommending the passage of the instrument for onward submission to the Liberian Senate for concurrence.

   Immediately following the voting process, the Presiding Officer, Speaker Bhofal Chambers, instructed the Chief Clerk of the House to forward the amended act of the “New Elections Law of 1986” to the Liberian Senate for concurrence.

   The act was introduced to the plenary of the House of Representatives in January 2022 by Montserrado County’s district #11 Representative, Richard N. Koon.

   Some of the amendments to the “New Elections Law of 1986” include Section 4.5, which set aside exclusive 30% for women representation in every political party during the submission of candidates listing to the National Elections Commission (NEC). Section 4.5 (1d) of the Elections Law Amendment Act also called for a political party or coalition to have at least one woman contestant for every primary at a convention for each constituency.

   The amendment also affects Section 7.3 (2), which deals with application and registration fees. This amendment increases registration fees for the presidency from US$2,500 to US$5,000, vice presidency from US$1,500 to US$3,000, member of the Liberian Senate from US$750 to US$1,500 and member of the House of Representatives from US$500 to US$1,000.

   The amendment, among other things, affects Section 5.12(3), which talks about hearing and determination of complaints. This amended section seeks to create an independent body in which its members cannot be dismissed or subjected to disciplinary action based on their ruling.

   Section 3.1, which deals with registration of voters was also amended, thus granting Liberians in the diaspora voting rights provided they meet the requirements listed in the act: possession of valid Liberian passport or a national identification card, known as citizens ID card and a voter card.

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