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The Ebola Disease remains the number one killer for now and it could continue to rage havoc unless it is contained within the most reasonable time. No one knows exactly when the disease would be eradicated within the West African sub-region. As long the virus remains active and continues to spread in the sub-region, it poses a serious threat to our survival.
While Our Government is struggling to deal with the Ebola spread, the Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC) says both houses of the national legislature have informed the commission to hold the special senatorial elections next month as scheduled.
Speaking Last Friday during an interview with the Voice of America (VOA), Cllr. Jerome Kokoya said he had written the legislature asking for a postponement of the October 14 election to December this year, saying his commission could not hold a free, fair, and credible election because of the ongoing deadly Ebola crisis. He said consultations are continuing on the holding of the elections in October which the Liberian constitution says must be held on the second Tuesday in October. However, Chairman Kokoya said some lawmakers have expressed concern that by not having the elections [at all] could create a constitutional crisis, which could have wider consequences.
“They have decided that we must hold elections. The question they are working on now is the technical side of it. The Judiciary Committees of both the House of Representatives and the Senate were meeting, and we were told by the Speaker that by early next week, we’re going to have some information from them with respect to the date. Like us, they too want the election to go on this year so as to avoid any serious constitutional issues come January,” Kokoya told the VOA.
Based On The mandate from lawmakers, Kokoya said he would begin publishing the final listing of candidates by this week or next week. However, he acknowledged that there are challenges under the current situation with the Ebola disease having a potential effect on the population and the suspension of several flights to Liberia due to Ebola crisis could make the election even more expensive or perhaps inconsequential.
As Much As Liberians respect the constitution which provides for holding special senatorial election in October, the Ebola crisis has overshadowed the spirits of the election and makes the entire contest inconsequential.
Right Now, Most Liberians, if not all are frightened by the human calamity caused by the Ebola virus. Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that there would be an “exponential” rise in the cases of Ebola particularly in Liberia if 1,000 beds are not made available to deal with the worst Ebola disaster in history.
The Lawmakers Must understand that we are at war and our government does not have the capacity to deal with the current situation that has overwhelmed us. A constitutional crisis is not important than the survival of our people. What good is the election when people are dying? How can you hold election when the population has been advised against touching or coming in close contact? The human destruction from the Ebola crisis is unimaginable; therefore, those suggesting the holding of the election in October are callous.
We Believe There will be sufficient time to hold a national conversation on constitutional issues. For now, we must eradicate Ebola first.