Upper House Endorses Committees’ Recommendation

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MONROVIA, June 26(LINA) -The Liberian Senate has concurred with the House of Representatives to endorse the recommendation by the Joint Conference Committees of both chambers regarding candidates’ registration fees as reflected in the 2004 Election Law of Liberia.

The Joint Conference Committee, which was constituted recently by the Liberian Senate and the House of Representatives to harmonize the two separate versions of candidates’ registration fees, recommended that the fees should remain unchanged.

According to the Liberia News Agency, the Liberian Senate endorsed the Committees’ recommendation on Thursday at a well-attended Session.

The recommendation, which was contained in a report submitted by the Joint Committee on Thursday of last week, was unanimously endorsed by the Lower House following its reading and sent to the Liberian Senate for concurrence.

The 2004 Election Law stipulated that candidates for the Presidency pay US$2,500, Vice President US$1,500, Senate US$750 and the House of Representatives US$500.

The Senate’s version proposed US$20,000 for President, US$15, 000 for Vice President, US$7,000 for Senate and US$5,000 for Representative, while the House’s version proposed US$2,500 for the Presidency, Vice President US$1,500, Senate US$750 and Representative US$500.

In the report, the Committee said it was convinced that on the basis of ECOWAS protocol to which Liberia is a signatory, any substantive change in the 2004 Election Law relative to the registration fees of candidates would have an adverse effect on the election process and render the results questionable.

The Committee also noted that the concept of financing election through exorbitant nomination or registration fees does not suffice in modern democracy as it has the propensity to limit individual right and freedom of participation.
LINA HVW/TSS/PTK