Liberia: Senate to Help Political Parties Legally Establish Headquarters Outside Monrovia
Monrovia – The Liberian Senate has disclosed that during the period of its Special session, which resumed on Monday, that it will consider an amendment to the Elections Law allowing for political parties to have its headquarters in Monrovia and its suburbs.
President George M. Weah recently recalled the Legislature from its second quarterly break for a Special Session to address legislations of national concern for a period of one month.
The President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, Senator Albert T. Chie, says the proposed amendment to be considered will redefine Monrovia into a broader scope as “Greater Monrovia”.
Speaking over the weekend at a program in Congo Town when his kinsman, Grand Kru County Representative, Nathaniel Bahway official joined the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Pro-Temp Chie said Article 79(c) of the Liberian Constitution mandates all political parties to have its headquarters in the Country’s Capital, Monrovia.
This, he noted, has brought some hindrance to the operations of many political parties, as such the Senate sees the need for an amendment.
“So, we at the Senate will define Monrovia in a broader scope. It will not be Monrovia but “Greater Monrovia”, that will include Monrovia itself, Congo Town, Bushord Island, Gardnerville, Paynesville, and others,” he disclosed.
According to the Grand Kru Lawmaker, the proposed change will be a great help for many political parties who are struggling to settle rental payment in the capital.
He further mentioned that some parties have been evicted from their headquarters due to failure to meet up with exorbitant rental fees for buildings in the Capital.
As such, the Pro-Temp said when the law is amended, instead of political parties paying US$60,000 as rental fees in Monrovia, some will now move in the suburbs to pay as low as US$3,000 or US$2,000 annually as rental fees.
Also, the President Pro-tempore revealed that one of the amendments to be considered is the 30 percent ratio for gender (Females) representation for electable positions by political parties during the submission of candidates listing in general elections which was recently passed by members of the House of Representatives.
“At the Senate, we initially agreed but when we started reviewing the law, we realized that Article 79(a) will put some constrains that will not allow us make it compulsory,” he averred.
Against this backdrop, the Pro-Temp noted that the Senate will make it voluntary, so that political parties will endeavor for 30 to 40 percent of electable candidates are women.