HOR Initiates Probe Into Reapportionment Of Constituencies For 2029 Elections

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The Plenary of the  House of Representatives has taken a significant step by forwarding the matter of the reapportionment of constituencies for the 2029 Elections to its Committees on Elections and Inauguration, Good Governance, and Judiciary. This decision, made on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, during its 10th Day Sitting of the 1st Quarter was prompted by a communication from Montserrado County Electoral District 11 Representative Richard Nagbe Koon. Representative Koon brought the issue to the attention of his colleagues, urging the National Elections Commission (NEC) and the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) to conduct constituency delimitation in compliance with Chapter VII, Article 80 (c, d & e) of the Constitution of Liberia. The communication emphasized the necessity to address the issue of malapportionment in various electoral districts, highlighting the importance of upholding democratic principles. In his communication to the Plenary, Representative Koon stressed the significance of the legal framework outlined in the Liberian Constitution, specifically citing Chapter VIII, Article 80 (d & e). He pointed out that constituencies should have approximately equal populations, and after a national census, the Elections Commission is mandated to reapportion the constituencies to reflect new population figures. The lawmaker expressed concern about the political ramifications of discrepancies among electoral districts, stating that malapportionment violates the ‘one person, one vote’ principle, a fundamental tenet of democratic governance. He raised issues with the current electoral districts delineated in 2010, which were used for the 2011, 2017, and 2023 General Elections in Liberia. Furthermore, Representative Koon highlighted the challenges arising from the 2010 redistricting exercise, conducted after the 2008 Population Census. He noted that the electoral districts were determined based on voter registration data instead of census data, which is inconsistent with the constitutional requirements. The communication outlined the current situation and realities, emphasizing that the electoral districts for the 2023 elections were still based on the 2010 delineation, as the census results were not released by LISGIS. The discrepancy in population figures and the use of voter registration instead of census population data contributed to inequalities in representation at both the national and county levels. The Committees on Elections and Inauguration, Good Governance, and Judiciary are now tasked with probing LISGIS and the National Elections Commission to ensure compliance with constitutional provisions and promote a fair and transparent electoral process for the 2029 Elections.

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