Friday, September 25, 2020

When will the by Elections be held?

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Question of the Day

The IEC should give an update on what it is doing regarding the two By elections that are due. By Elections are due for Niamina West Constituency in the Janjanburey Administrative Area and Kerr Jarga Ward in the Kerewan Administrative Area.

The Electoral Act states :

(I) If, for any reason, the seat to an electoral division to which a candidate had been declared elected under section 80 becomes vacant and in consequence a by-election becomes necessary, the Commission shall hold another election for that electoral division in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and this Act.”

Subsection (2) adds: “ Except where a vacancy occurs within nine months of the anticipated dissolution of the National Assembly or Local Government Council, the Commission shall appoint an election day for by-election for a member to represent a constituency or Local Government Area not later than ninety days after the seat became vacant.”

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COVID 19 did interrupt the process. The IEC must explore the possibility of holding elections for a longer period to promote safe spacing and still make sure that wards and constituencies are not left unrepresented. The legislatures should also look at the development to examine how the law could be reformed to address such a situation. It is unpardonable to sit down and just resign to nature.

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