The Joint Resolution (LEG-002 of 2010) that set the threshold upon which the 2011 elections was conducted cannot be the same instrument upon which the upcoming 2017 elections should be held because it would violate the country’s Constitution, the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) has warned.The 2010 threshold process contravened article 80 (d) and (e) of the Liberian Constitution for which the Legislature and the National Elections Commissions (NEC) are again resolved to tread a similar path. The ECC Executive Director, Oscar Bloh, told a news conference in Monrovia yesterday that the special arrangement under which the 2011 elections were conducted cannot be used for the upcoming elections as it would cause the country to perpetually violate its laws.But it appears that this would actually be the case as Members of the House of Representatives on September 27 voted not to set a new electoral threshold for the 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections.The lawmakers’ decision was an endorsement of a report from the Committee on Elections and Inauguration advising them not to set a new threshold for next year’s elections. That body has written the Senate for its concurrence.The Chairman of the House Committee on Elections and Inauguration, Representative Gabriel B. Smith, said in his report that on the basis of history and electoral tradition, quoting Article 80 (d) and (e) of the 1986 Constitution, it is assumed that a threshold should serve two regular periods of six years, and in so doing, it would be “lawfully incorrect” and “politically troublesome,” for the 53rd Legislature to prescribe a new threshold on the basis of a census report for which the 52nd Legislature had already passed a resolution.However, many observed that the lawmakers’ decision has political undertones. Observers have said that the lawmakers are afraid to lose their strongholds should a new threshold be set causing district demarcations to be restructured.The ECC, however, said in a statement yesterday that it is deeply concerned about this unconstitutional situation. The ECC is a non-partisan professional network of civil society organizations that monitors, documents, and reports on election issues with the aim of promoting transparency and accountability in the country as well as strengthening the democratic process. The committee collaborates with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).It said: “We are deeply worried that no decision has been reached between the NEC and the Legislature on setting a new threshold to reapportion districts for the upcoming elections, which is in keeping with Article 80 (d) and (e) of the Constitution.” Article 80 (d) states that each constituency shall have an approximately equal population of 20,000, or such number of citizens as the Legislature shall prescribe in keeping with population growth and movements as revealed by a national census, provided that the total number of electoral constituencies in the Republic shall not exceed one hundred.While the ECC statement stipulates that: “Immediately following a national census and before the next election, the NEC shall reapportion the constituencies in accordance with the new population figures so that every constituency shall have as close to the same population as possible; provided, however, that a constituency must be solely within a county.”But the ECC pointed out that in 2010 constituencies were not apportioned based on the 2008 census report, as they should have been legally. “Rather, the Legislature through a joint resolution in 2010 instructed NEC to set a special threshold, which led to the addition of nine new districts (seats) to the then existing 64 that the 2005 elections produced.”“This joint resolution, which contravened Article 80 (d) and (e), has expired because it was meant for the 2011 elections; and therefore, this same formula cannot be used for the 2017 elections.”Under the Liberian democratic structure, representation is not based on registered voters, rather the country’s population informed by a national census report—which in this case is the 2008 National Housing and Population Census.In view of the above, the ECC calls on the Legislature to convene a special session to set a new threshold based on the 2008 nationwide census report. The ECC added that this should be done before the start of the voter registration exercise.In a related development, the ECC also said it has observed with concern non-compliance in certain provisions of the Liberian Constitution by some political parties and independent candidates, who are required by law (Constitution, Article 83 d) to publish and submit to the NEC, detailed statements of assets and liabilities by the first of September each year.While it may be true that some political parties have submitted financial statements to the NEC, “the constitutional provision cited above dictates that the report filed with the NEC must be published to satisfy both conditions of publishing and submitting.” The ECC also commended parties that have made their financial reports public. In furtherance of the above observation, the ECC recommended that the NEC publish names of all political parties that have failed to submit their financial statements, while at the same time compel these parties to comply with the Constitution.“The NEC is a government institution that is under obligation to let the public know which political parties have submitted their financial statements, and which have not done so,” Mr. Bloh said.The NEC is yet to comment on the concerns of the ECC.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
For More Info Bryant bombarded the Clippers with 40 points in the second half – the second highest point total in a half in Lakers history. He once scored 42 in a half in March 2003. His biggest shot came with 11.4 seconds left, a running jump shot that snapped a 12-1 Clippers run. The Clippers were briefly up 109-108 with 25.0 seconds left when Elton Brand scored over the Lakers’ Kwame Brown. In his second game back from a two-game suspension for a flagrant foul, Bryant hit a game-winning 6-foot jump shot with 11.4 seconds left and exploded for 50 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to give the Lakers a 112-109 victory in front of 20,154 Saturday night at Staples Center. • Photo Gallery: 01/07: Lakers vs. Clippers LOS ANGELES – If the Lakers and Clippers are connected this season as borderline playoff teams without serious chances of winning a championship, the Lakers at least have one thing the Clippers don’t: a show-stopping, logic-defying superstar with the ability to take over basketball games and do things that often border on impossible named Kobe Bryant. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonThe Clippers had a possession down 110-109 with 11.4 seconds, but a turnover from Shaun Livingston gave the Lakers’ Smush Parker an uncontested fast-break layup to put the Lakers up 112-109. On the Clippers’ next possession, Cuttino Mobley made a 3-point shot that came after the final buzzer. Mobley finished with a season-high 36 points, and Brand had 28 points and 10 rebounds. Bryant scored 11 consecutive points with three 3-pointers in a 2:01 span to start the fourth quarter and give the Lakers an 89-82 lead. But after that, the scrappy Clippers hung around and engineered a 10-1 run to pull to 108-107 with 48.6 left. Midway through the third quarter, it hardly looked as if Bryant and the Lakers could pounce on the Clippers the way they did. The Clippers led by 13 midway through the third quarter and were up 82-78 heading into Bryant’s quarter, the fourth quarter. The Clippers had never beaten the Lakers three in a row in Clippers history until they won on Nov. 18 with a 97-91 victory. Historically, the Lakers have beaten up on the Clippers more than any other team. So compared with the body of their matchups, the past few games have been an aberration. The Lakers held a .750 winning percentage (124-42) against the Clippers heading into Saturday’s game, and the Lakers just lost two series to the Clippers in 1992-93 and 1974-75, when the franchise was the Buffalo Braves. Hardly a day goes by in which the topic of Clippers injuries doesn’t come up between Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy and reporters. That subject came up again on Saturday and became most apparent with the team’s defense of Bryant. The Clippers started rookie Daniel Ewing on Bryant, then switched to second-year guards Shaun Livingston and Quinton Ross. Typically, Corey Maggette defends Bryant, but he is out with a separated ligament in his left foot. “He’s somebody that puts a lot of pressure on Kobe to play defense – that’s the biggest thing,” Dunleavy said. “When you run into someone on the schedule with a really good player, you want to make him expend energy on both ends of the floor.” email@example.com (562) 499-1338 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!