Monrovia- The controversy over the issue whether Liberia will be plunge into becoming an interim state after the Unity Party-led government in 2011, has now come to a halt with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf signing a Joint Resolution on the long awaited Threshold Bill submitted by the House of Legislature.
During the course of the last few months the 52nd National Legislature has been debating the passage of the Threshold Bill which sought to create about 23 additional seats within the House of Legislature.
It can be recorded that the population Threshold Bill was vetoed twice by the Liberian leader on financial and constitutional grounds.
President Sirleaf, in earlier reports, said signing earlier versions of the Bill would have meant diverting resources from other important priorities such as education, health and public works to accommodate the 23 additional legislators which the 40,000 threshold implied.
However, the Liberian leader, last Thursday, July 29, 2010, signed the Joint Resolution on the Threshold Bill which provives that nine additional seats will be added to the already existing sixty-four seats in the house of legislature.
According to Mr. Cyrus Wleh Badio, Press Secretary to the office of the President, the Joint Resolution which is cardinal to the holding of elections in 2011, has been forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be printed into hand bill for it to become a law.
Mr. Badio made this disclosure in a press briefing when he spoke to Executive Mansion reporters On Monday, August 02, 2010 at his office in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill.
“The issue of setting the Electoral Threshold has been dragging along for quite a while now. It may not be the best documents but an instrument that can guide us toward an important exercise to sustain our democracy.”
“The National Elections Commission can now begin the process leading to the holding of successful elections next year,” he said.
Mr. Badio added that president Sirleaf wishes to call on all citizens, especially those who may share different opinions on the compromise to look at the greater picture of the decision and lend their support for a smooth and transparent process.
In further elaborations, Mr. Badio averred the Joint Resolution states that the sixty-four electoral districts set up and used by the National Elections Commission (NEC) for the conduct of the 2005 Presidential and Legislative elections will remain constant.
“But for the purpose of the 2011 Presidential and Legislative elections,” Mr. Badio stressed, “each county shall retain the existing number of seats it has in the House of Representatives, except the counties of Grand Bassa, Lofa, Margibi, Monsterrado, Bong and Nimba.”
In accordance with the Joint Resolution, the NEC will create nine additional electoral constituencies in the aforesaid counties.
“Accordingly, nine additional electoral constituencies are hereby prescribed and established. The National Elections Commission shall reapportion such additional constituencies herein prescribed to the counties specifically named in the Joint Resolution, based on a fraction of the percentage contribution of the current seats each of the counties herein named above to their total number of seats in the House of Representatives,” Mr. Badio Said.