WHEREAS the purpose of the Special Elections are to promote and safeguard peace, to engender an environment of reconciliation and compromise;
TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION that the law, guidelines and Code of Conduct governing these elections shall ensure inclusiveness, accessibility and representativeness;
BEING DESIROUS of creating a government that is transparent and accountable;
CONSIDERING that the Proportional Representation system is applied during this special election because the electoral law of 1996 and the Constitution of Liberia of 1985 are inoperable given the present circumstances;
CONSIDERING that the Proportional Representation system will provide a clear simple and effective method of voting.
BEING AWARE that all votes in the Proportional Representation system will have an equal value and thus encourage the population to vote and to effectively participate in the electoral process;
CONSCIOUS OF THE GREAT EFFORT made by the Member States of ECOWAS to bring, promote and safeguard peace to Liberia;
REALIZING THAT THE INTENTION OF ECOWAS IS TO RETURN LIBERIA TO Democratic Governance through these special elections and to recreate the political institutions (House, Senate and Presidency);
MINDFUL that ECOMOG continues to play a crucial role in ensuring peace and safeguarding the security of the electoral process;
NOW THEREFORE the IECOM proposes and ECOWAS approves the electoral law hereunder.
Chapter 1 Definitions and General Provisions:
The provisions herein shall be entitled and cited as the Special Elections Law for the Republic of Liberia to elect a President, Vice-President, a House of Representatives and a Senate in 1997.
Except when the context or a specific provision of law otherwise requires, the following terms, when used in this Law shall have the following meanings ascribed to them.
a)''This election'' refers to the 1997 Special Elections in Liberia.
b)''Special Elections'' means elections for the offices of the President, Vice president, Senators and Representatives held in 1997 under this Special Elections Law, based on the revised Abuja Agreement and the decisions reached by the ECOWAS Ministerial Committee of Nine and the Council of State of the Republic of Liberia in February 1997.
c)''Run-off Election'' means an election held following the result of the first ballot where no Presidential candidate obtains an absolute majority.
d)''Polling Center'' means any approved building or structure within which voters cast their votes during this election.
e)''Polling Place or polling station'' means any designated place within a polling center in which voters cast their votes during this election.
f)''Residence'' means a place where a voter lives
g)''Registration Card'' means a card issued by the Commission to a voter upon registration which serves to identify the voter on election day.
h)''Candidate'' means a Liberian citizen who has been certified by the Commission to contest an election.
i)''Chairman'' shall refer to the Chairman of the Independent Elections Commission.
j)''Commissioner'' means any person duly appointed to serve on the Independent Elections Commission.
k)''Commission'' shall refer to the Independent Elections Commission of the Republic of Liberia.
l) ''Constituency''' for the purpose of these Elections means the Republic of Liberia.
m)''Domicile'' when used in this Law shall refer to the residence of an aspirant or candidate who seeks elective public office in which he lives and pays taxes.
n)''Election Writ'' means a writ issued by the Independent Elections Commission directing the holding of an election on a specified date.
o)''Eligible Voter'' means any qualified person registered and who is in possession of a Registration Card and whose name appears on the Voters Registration Roll.
p)''IECOM'' shall be the abbreviation used to refer to the Independent Elections Commission.
q)''Magistrate of Elections'' means an elections officer so designated and representing the Independent Elections Commission in the area of his jurisdiction to perform such duties and functions prescribed in this Law, under the direction and supervision of the Independent Elections Commission.
r)''Political Party/Coalition/Alliance'' in the context of contesting these elections shall refer to an association with membership of not less than three hundred and fifty (350) eligible voters originating from each of any six (6) counties irrespective of where they live. The activities of a political party/coalition/Alliance which has met the minimum registration requirements laid down by the Independent Elections Commission, shall include canvasing for votes on any public issue, or in support of a candidate for elective office.
s)''Coalition/Alliance'' in the context of contesting these elections shall refer to an association of two or more political parties pursuant to Chapter 9; Section 9.5 of this law.
t)''Simple Majority of Votes'' means winning an election by a number of votes which exceeds by one the number of votes cast for the candidate with the next highest vote.
1.3System of Election:
a)President and Vice President:
The system of election for the offices of President and Vice President shall be the Majoritirian System and the Candidate who wins an absolute majority of valid votes shall be the winner. In the event no candidate wins an absolute majority of valid votes a run off election shall be held and the candidate with the majority of valid votes shall be declared the winner.
The system of election for the Legislature consisting of the House of Senate and the House of Representative shall be by Proportional Representation with the entire country as a single constituency.
ECOMOG peace keeping force shall provide security to the Commission and for all its activities directly and indirectly for the duration of this special electoral process.
1.5Effect of Declaration:
Any declaration required to be made under the provisions of this Law, and made before any person authorized by this Law, to receive such declaration, shall have the same force and effect as if such declaration had been made to any official authorized under the laws of the Republic to administer an oath, and in case of false declaration to the same penalty.
1.6Service of Notice:
Service of any notice required by the provision of this Law, may be made by delivering it personally or if it can be shown that the post office maintains a regular service to such place, by mailing it to the last known residence or usual place of abode within the Republic; and if with due diligence no such delivery can be made, by affixing the notice to the door of such person's place of business, residence or usual place of abode in the Republic. However, where the notice to be served concerns a person alleged to have been judicially declared an incompetent or of unsound mind, his guardian shall be served in accordance with the provisions of this Law.
1.7Service by Radio/Newspaper:
When it is impracticable to communicate any election matter by post without occasioning undue delay, any radio or newspaper communication in the ordinary course shall suffice for the purpose of this Law.
1.8Signature of Person Unable to Write:
Any person required by this law to sign his name may, upon satisfying an attesting witness that he is unable to write, make a mark which should be witnessed by the attesting witness.
Chapter 2 Independent Elections Commission:
Organization and Administration:
The organization and administration of the Independent Elections Commission of the Republic of Liberia shall function according to the provisions of this chapter.
2.1Office of the Independent Elections Commission:
The Independent Elections Commission of the Republic of Liberia, is an autonomous public commission composed of ten (10) Members, seven (7) of whom shall be Liberian Citizens with voting rights and three (3) International non-voting members representing the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of African Unity (OAU). This Commission is headed by a Chairman, appointed by the Council of State in consultation with the Chairman of ECOWAS.
The Chairman and other Members of the Elections Commission, shall hold their office for the duration of the Special Elections of 1997 but not more than 30 days after the inauguration. For the duration of these Special Elections, no Commissioner shall be removed from office.
2.3Replacement of a Commissioner:
In the event of death, incapacitation or resignation that Commissioner shall be replaced by the same process of the initial appointment.
2.4Quorum and Vote:
Any five (5) Liberian voting Members plus at least one (1) Non-Voting Member of the Commission, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business of the Commission, and a majority of four (4) voting members shall be necessary to decide any issue before it, and that decision shall be binding on the Commission.
No Commissioner, election officer or an employee of the Commission shall be a member, or an affiliate of any political party/Coalition/Alliance, or of an association or organization; nor shall any Commissioner, election officer or any employee of the Commission canvas for any elective public office directly or indirectly, during tenure on the Commission.
Before assuming office, each Commissioner, election officer and every employee of the Commission shall solemnly subscribe to an Oath renouncing allegiance to, and severing all connections, affiliation and relationship with his/her own, or any other political Party/Coalition/Alliance during his/her service or tenure with the Commission.
Members of the Commission, Elections Officers and all other employees of the Commission, shall each receive legitimate remuneration and benefits as approved in the Budget.
2.7Seat of the Commission:
The seat of the Commission shall be located in the Nation's Capital and it shall maintain branches in the counties as necessary.
2.8Security Protection For Members Of The Commission:
Members of the Commission shall be accorded ECOMOG Protection during their tenure.
2.9Power And Duties:
a)Formulate and administer the Special the Special Elections Package for the 1997 Elections;
b)Organize the office of the Commission in a manner as may be necessary and practicable for the effective operation of the Commission;
c)Give accreditation to, and register all political parties which meet the minimum registration requirements laid down by the Commission;
d)Upon objections made by any Party/Coalition/Alliance, theCommission may reject, and if already registered, revoke the certification of accreditation of the Party/Coalition/Alliance against which the objection was made, subject to appeal to the Supreme Court of Liberia. The revocation of the application of any proposed political Party/Coalition/Alliance for accreditation as a full-fledged political Party/Coalition/Alliance shall be predicated upon its violation of the Abuja Accord and its Schedule of Implementations and any other act as set out in the present law.
e)Revoke the registration and accreditation of an already legal Party/Coalition/Alliance only after a hearing before the Commission, in accordance with due process of Law;
f)Restrict participation in these Special Elections, to only registered political parties/coalition/alliance who shall be obliged to nominate a single list of its candidates for elective posts including the posts of President, Vice President, Senators and
g)Conduct the 1997 Special Elections for elective public offices and declare the results thereof;
h)Formulate and enforce guidelines controlling the conduct of these 1997 Special Elections, which guidelines shall not be inconsistent with this Law;
I)Appoint all senior staff and all such officials and employees as may be necessary for the effective performance of the duties and functions of the Commission;
j)Appoint elections officers in the political sub-divisions of the country, who shall perform their duties under the direction and supervision of the Commission and in accordance with the provisions of this Law;
k)Maintain a register of all qualified voters, which shall be subject to inspection under the provision of this Law;
l)Declare the Republic as a single constituency, for the purpose of these Special 1997 Elections, based upon the principle of Proportional Representation for the Legislative Elections.
m)Maintain a register of the Constitution, Articles of Incorporation and Rules of all political parties and their organizations and any amendment thereto;
n)Screen all candidates for elective public office and accredit their candidacy, and/or reject the candidacy of anyone who is not qualified under this Law;
o)Prescribe the kinds of records to be kept by all political parties;
p)Examine and audit, or cause to be audited, the financial transactions of all political parties and their organizations.
q)Be the only body authorized to announce the official results of these Special 1997 Elections;
r)Submit a report to the GOVERNMENT OF LIBERIA and ECOWAS on the general operations of the Commission and the conduct of elections within 30 days after inauguration.
s)Issue citations for the appearance before it of any political Party/Coalition/Alliance or its leaders, or other persons in connection with any complaint cognizable before it; issue subpoenas for the purpose of obtaining witnesses in any hearing, including subpoenas ad testificandum, and subpoenas duces tecum; punish for contempt for any obstruction or disobedience of its orders in an amount not less than Five Thousand ($5000,00) dollars and not more than Twenty-Five Thousand dollars ($25,000.00):
t)Revoke the Certification of Accreditation of any political Party/Coalition/Alliance, or impose a fine after a hearing, the determination of which is appealable to the Supreme Court.
u)Perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law.
v)Be the sole judge of all elections results, and the accreditation of all successful candidates who have been duly elected as President, Vice President, and members of the National Legislature. Any appeal from the decision of the Commission in these elections contest shall lie before the Supreme Court, taken in accordance with the provisions of this Law in relation to this election contest;
w)Contribute towards a ''level playing field'' so that all the political parties could have a fair chance of presenting their case to the Liberian Electorate. For this purpose, the Commission has determined that equal access to radio broadcasts be made available to all. In this connection the Commission shall issue Guidelines and Code of Conduct to the media.
Sub-Chapter A:Duties of Chairman:
2.10The Chairman shall:
a)Be the official head and spokesman of the Commission;
b)Preside over all meetings and hearings of elections disputes;
c)Control, supervise and direct the administrative operations of the office of the Commission and its branches, and in consultation with the Commissioners, take such measures, as may be necessary, for the smooth and effective operation of the Commission.
d)Designate one of the Commissioners to act in his absence.
Sub-Chapter B:Legal Section:
There shall be established in the office of the Commission, a Legal Section, which shall be the legal arm of the Commission.
The Legal Section shall be composed of two (2) lawyers who shall serve as legal counsels to the Commission. Their duties and responsibilities shall be determined by the Commission.
Anyone appointed Legal counsel must be a qualified lawyer and a Counselor-At-Law.
2.14Duties and functions:
The Legal Section of the Commission shall have the following functions and duties:
a)Represent the Commission before the Supreme Court of Liberia in any elections litigation, or otherwise;
b)Advise the Commission on all legal matters when required;
c)Submit to the Commission a written legal opinion on any question of legal implication when so required; and
d)Perform such other legal duties relating to the administration of the elections laws as may be required by the Commission.
Sub-Chapter C:Administrative Division:
There is hereby established in the office of the Commission, a division of administration to include those sections already provided for in the Law, which shall be sub-divided into administrative sections as may be necessary, for the effective performance of the duties and functions of the Commission.
The Executive Director shall be the principal administrative assistant to the Chairman in the over-all administrative activities and operation of the office of the Commission. He shall be responsible for the general administration of the office of the Commission, assisted by section heads and staff members. The section heads shall be amendable to the Executive Director for the effective and smooth operation and functions of the Commission.
2.16Appointment and Tenure:
The Executive Director shall be appointed by the Commission and shall serve at the pleasure of the Commission.
A person appointed to the post of Executive Director shall be a Liberian Citizen and a holder of a degree in administration or its equivalent with not less than five (5) years of experience in administration.
2.18Duties and functions:
The Executive Director shall have the following duties and functions:
a)Have charge of the general administration supervision of the office of the Independent Elections Commission under the direction of the Chairman;
b)Serve as Secretary to the Commission; attend its deliberations and keep minutes of its transaction;
c)Keep and preserve the records of the Commission;
d)Direct and supervise the work of the administrative sections and local offices of the commission in the Counties and be responsible and accountable to the Commission for the effective and smooth operation of the division: and
e)Perform such other duties and functions as may be required of him by the Commission.
Sub-Chapter D:Elections Officers:
2.19Appointment of Election Officers:
Elections Officers shall include Election Magistrates, Clerks of Writs, Registrars, Sheriffs, Poll Clerks, Judges and such other Poll Workers appointed by the Commission in accordance with the relevant provisions of this Law, who shall carry out the duties assigned them by the Commission and by the provision of this Law, in connection with the Registration of Voters and the conduct of these elections.
2.20Clerk of Writs:
A Clerk of Writs and an Assistant Clerk of Writs shall be appointed by the Commission in accordance with provisions of this Law.
2.21Magistrates of Elections:
In accordance with the provisions of this Law, the Commission shall appoint within each County/District as many Magistrates of Elections as shall be necessary, who shall serve as liaison between the Commission and the County/District they represent in respect of all Election activities within their County of assignment. Each such Magistrate shall comply with all general as well as special instructions issued to him by the Commission.
A Magistrate of Elections shall have power and functions within his area of jurisdiction to hear and determine objections of voters registration claims, and to the continuation of disqualified voters on the registration rolls, and upon a proper showing, to order the reinstatement on the registration rolls of names of qualified voters struck off by mistake.
Magistrates of Elections shall have power and jurisdiction in the first instance to hear and determine all elections offenses in which the penalty provided is not more than Two Thousand dollars ($2,000.00). In all other offenses, the Commission shall have original administrative jurisdiction subject only to judicial review by the Supreme Court of Liberia.
2.22Oath of Officers of Elections:
Each Magistrate, before assuming such office, shall make and subscribe to an oath before the Chairman of the Commission for the faithful discharge of his duties. Such persons appointed as a Registrar of voters, a Sheriff, a Clerk and other Poll Workers, before assuming such office, shall make and subscribe to an oath before the Magistrate of Elections to perform faithfully the duties of such office in accordance with provisions of this Law. Such oath shall be filed in the office of the Commission.
2.23Ineligibility To Hold Office as Elections Officers:
No candidate and/or persons holding any official position in connection with any political Party/Coalition/Alliance shall be appointed by the Commission; any employee who knowingly becomes a candidate, or who is elected, appointed or otherwise becomes an official of any political organization shall be considered to have automatically forfeited his employment and shall be dealt with under the provisions of this Law.
2.24Compensation of Elections Officers:
Each Elections Officer shall be paid remuneration of such amounts as may be prescribed by budgetary appropriation of the Commission for the duration of the elections for duties actually performed.
2.25Payment of Elections Officers:
The remuneration of Elections Officer appointed by the Commission and all other public expenses arising from elections, shall upon approval by the Chairman of the Commission, be paid in accordance with standard procedure for disbursement.
Any Commissioner, Elections Officer or employee of the Elections Commission, before assuming the duties and functions of his office shall subscribe to an oath which shall be filed in the office of the Chairman of the Council of State of the Liberian National Transitional Government in case of a Commissioner, and in the office of the Commission, in case of Elections Officers, officials or employees.
Commissioners and staff of the Commission, shall not be held personally liable for acts carried out in the course of their official duties.
Chapter 3 Registration of Voters:
Sub-Chapter A:General Provisions:
3.1Who May Register:
Every citizen of Liberia who has attained the age of eighteen (18) years or older, may register as a voter except one who has been judicially declared to be incompetent or of unsound mind.
3.2Place or Center of Registration:
Not later than one (1) week before the date of registration, the Commission shall publicly advertise by printed notices in newspapers where feasible, by posters, placards, by radio and television broadcast and by any other available means, the lists of the location of places for registration centers in the local communities involved.
3.3Time of Registration:
The offices of the Elections Magistrate in each county or place so designated shall be opened for Registration of Voters at a time as may be prescribed by the Commission.
3.4Observation of Registration:
The process of registration may be observed by agents of registered political parties/coalitions/alliance, organizations or other persons as the commission may approve.
Sub-Chapter B:Voter Registration Roll:
3.5Voter Registration Card:
Each voter after having completed the registration process, shall be given a voter registration card by the Registration Officer. The Registration Card shall contain the family name and given names of the voter and the signature of the Registration Officer. The Voter Registration card will also bear the County Code, the Center Number and the Voter's Roll Number.
Registration Rolls shall be kept in a form prescribed by the Commission and shall contain the family name and given name, address, date of birth and/or age, sex, names of father and mother and roll number of the Voter. The names will be arranged in a sequential order at each Registration Center.
3.7Roll to be Kept for Public Inspection:
A print of the Registration List should be available for display at those locations deemed appropriate by the Commission. A copy shall be kept at the Commission's head office.
However no registration roll or other election document, shall be invalidated on the ground that it is not legibly printed or because of any immaterial error made in the making thereof.
3.8Public Officers to Furnish Information:
All public officers in the service of the government and all officers in the service of any local governing body, are hereby authorized and required to furnish the Commission on any Elections Officer, such information as may be required to enable the Commission or any such Elections Officer to prepare or revise the registration roll or elections document.
3.9Other Persons From Whom Information May be Required:
For the purpose of preparing any registration roll or ensuring the registration of any voter on a registration roll, the Commission or a registrar or any person authorized for this purpose by the Commission may require any person to answer any question or furnish any returns or fill in and sign any claim with regard to such registration. Any person to whom any question shall be put under this section, shall truthfully and to the best of his/her knowledge and belief, comply with any requirement made of him/her under this section.
3.10Claims for Registration:
1)A claim is a written application for registration as a voter. New names may be added to the appropriate roll by a registrar of elections pursuant to claim, which shall be made in the prescribed forms, signed by the claimant in the presence of, and witnessed by, a Registered Voter and filed with the registrar of elections, who keeps the roll on which the claimant seeks to be registered. A claim must contain the surname and the given name, if any, of the claimant, his/her residence, the name of the Registration Center, age, and his/her usual signature or right thumb print if he/she is unable to write.
2)The Commission shall determine a period of not less than eight (8) days before election day during which:
a)the registration roll shall be available for inspections at each Registration Center and compared with the Commission's Master Registration Roll to make sure the roll is in order and that the names of deceased registered voters are removed from the roll in accordance with the provision of this chapter; and,
b)claims for Registration and Objections to Registration may be made. The dates determined by the Commission shall be published in the same manner as is required by section 3.2 for Notification of Registration Centers.
3.11Receipts of Claims:
Upon the receipt of a claim, the Registrar of Elections shall note thereon the date of its receipt and file the claim provisionally. Claims thus filed by the Registrar of Elections shall be opened for public inspection without fee at the office of such registrar on any working day during the hours the office is opened.
Sub-Chapter C:Alteration of Registration Rolls:
3.13Alteration of Registration Rolls:
The Commission may alter the Registration Rolls:
1)Correcting any obvious mistake or omission, but not to the extent of wholly removing a name from the Registration Rolls; and,
2)By re-instating a name previously struck off by orders of the Commission resulting from an error of fact.
3.14When Registration Roll May Not be Altered:
No Registration Roll may be altered within the seven (7) days period immediately prior to an election, including election day, except upon an order by the Supreme Court of Liberia on the determination of a manifest error.
3.15Alteration of Registration Rolls. How to be Made:
Alterations of Registration Rolls shall be made in such manner that original writing, or printing shall not be obliterated or altered. The reason for the alteration, the date thereof and such reference to authority, as may be deemed necessary, shall be set against the alteration together with the initials of the person authorized to make the alteration.
Chapter 4 Qualifications for Elective Offices:
Parties wishing to field candidate in the 1997 elections for any of the elective offices in these elections must ensure their candidates meet the following qualifications for the offices of President, Vice President, Senators and Representatives.
a)Must be a natural born Liberian Citizen;
b)Must be 35 years of age or above.
a)Must be a natural born Liberian Citizen;
b)Must be 35 years of age or above.
a)Must be a natural born Liberian Citizen;
b)Must be 30 years of age or above.
a)Must be a natural born Liberian Citizen;
b)Must be 25 years of age or above.
1)In addition to the qualifications enumerated above, if the aspirant is a former government official he/she must have resigned from Government on or before February 28, 1997 in accordance with the Abuja Accord and Schedule of Implementation.
2)Party/Coalition/Alliance's candidates must be resident in Liberia during the convention and campaign period.
4.3Period of Permissible Withdrawal:
Any Party/Coalition/Alliance or candidate may withdraw from contesting an election but, must notify the Commission in writing before the ballot-papers are printed.
Chapter 5 Conduct of Elections:
1)The Commission shall designate Polling Places as it deems necessary. A change of Polling Place after its due designation, may be made by the Commission, if circumstances warrant it, provided that voters are given reasonable notice.
2)Polling Places shall have separate compartments demarcated, so as to protect each voter from observation whilst marking the ballot papers.
3)Each polling place shall be provided with a ballot box or boxes, which shall be secured with either a lock and key or security seals and have a cleft for receiving the ballot papers which can also be secured in the closed position.
4)The Commission shall make arrangements for the list of polling places to be published not less than ten (10) days before the election and shall take all necessary steps to ensure that voters are made aware of the location of various polling places before the election.
5)Each polling place shall be identified to the public by a suitable notice or other means.
6)There shall be a Presiding officer at the Poll appointed to preside at the voting at each polling place who shall be assisted by other subordinate poll officials.
1)Writs shall be in the prescribed for and shall specify:
a)The date and hours of polling:
b)The last date and hour of nomination of candidates by political parties/coalitions/alliances; and,
c)The date for the return of the Writ indicating thereon: the number of ballot boxes, the number of ballot papers issued, and the number of votes cast. The writ shall be returned along with the signed tally sheets containing the results of the poll and sealed ballot boxes containing the counted ballot papers after the count.
2)By direction of the Chairman of the Commission, the Clerk of Writs shall issue a Writ for the Election, not less than ten (10) days prior to the prescribed time for the election. Such Writ shall direct the Magistrates to conduct the said election in accordance with the provisions of this Law.
5.3Duty of Magistrate of Elections:
1)Subject to the directives of the Commission, Magistrates shall make all necessary arrangements for the holding of the election.
2)The Magistrates shall take such steps as are necessary, and in accordance with directives of the Commission, to inform the political parties and their candidates and voters, of;
a)The dates by which specific acts have to be done, nominations made, or as otherwise required by this Law;
b)the time-table for the electoral process;
c)the general arrangements for taking the poll;
d)generally, as to the conduct of the election and the duties of parties and candidates.
3)The Magistrate of Elections shall in accordance with any directive from the Commission:
a)furnish the approved polling places with ballot box or boxes, ballot papers and other requisite election materials;
b)provide each polling place with the necessary ballot papers prepared in the prescribed forms and furnished by the Commission;
c)administer the oath to all persons serving at the polls: and
d)Arrange for the poll and the counting of votes at each polling station and the conveyance of the sealed ballot boxes containing the counted ballot papers along with the writs and tally sheets at the close of the count.
e)Ensure that the security of movement of election materials from one point to another shall be provided by ECOMOG.
5.4Nomination of Parties/Coalitions/Alliances lists for the Legislature and Candidates for the Presidency:
-The elections for the Legislature shall be on the basis of Proportional Representation system using the country as a single constituency.
-Each Party/Coalition/Alliance shall provide a legislative list containing twenty-six (26) names for the Senate and Sixty-four (64) names for the House of Representative:
-No Party/Coalition/Alliance shall be allowed to submit a Legislative List that is short of the number of Legislative seats for this election: and
-The allocation of seats won by the parties/coalitions/alliances for the Senate and the House shall be in keeping with the existing structures.
-For the purposes of electing a President during this Special Election in 1997, the whole country shall be regarded as one constituency.
-Each Presidential Candidate shall represent a political Party/Coalition/Alliance.
1)Ballot papers shall be in a form prescribed by the Commission.
2)The ballot-paper shall include the Party/Coalition/Alliance's acronym, emblem and picture of the Presidential Candidate.
1)Polls shall be opened from seven (7) o'clock in the morning to four (4) o'clock in the evening nationwide.
2)At the opening of the polls, and before any vote is cast, the ballot box shall be opened and presented to the public, including representatives of political parties, for inspection. After it has been confirmed that the box is completely empty, it will be locked and sealed in open view of the public. The serial number of any ballots issued shall be recorded by the clerk on the Tally sheet. The Commission shall allow the presence of national and international observers during the entire electoral process.
3)Election Day Procedure:
a)All voters must carry their voter registration cards.
b)Each voter shall present his/her voter registration card to the presiding officer who then shall guide him/her to the appropriate desk - i.e. the one that has the voter registration roll which contains his name.
c)Upon identification, each voter shall be give by the first poll clerk a ballot paper on which he decides his vote.
d)The voter then proceeds to the compartments where he/she can mark his/her ballot paper in privacy and without interference. Only physically handicapped persons shall be assisted by a person of their choice in marking their ballot papers.
e)The voter folds the ballot paper while in the compartment.
f)The voter then casts his/her vote into the ballot box.
g)The voter then proceeds to the second poll clerk where he/she presents his/her voter registration card to be punched and is marked by indelible ink at the appropriate place.
h)Party/Coalition/Alliance agents, international observers, domestic monitor are entitled to be present at the place where the vote is cast.
i)The voter then exits the polling station
j)Polling station staff shall vote at the end of the day.
k)During the entire voting day procedure ECOMOG shall provide security and maintain complete law and order.
5.7Representatives at Polling Place:
To ensure a fair and impartial democratic election.
1)Any registered political Party/Coalition/Alliance may appoint no more than three representatives to attend any polling center with identification issued by the Commission, provided that only one such Party/Coalition/Alliance representative can be present in the polling station at any given time. Any such appointment, to be notified to the Commission not less than two (2) weeks before the date of election, shall be made in a form prescribed by the Commission.
2)The Party/Coalition/Alliance representative shall not speak to or attempt to influence in any way, any voter. Nor shall the representative attempt to observe how voters mark their ballot papers and shall obey all lawful instructions from a polling official.
5.8The following categories of persons may be present at the Polling Centers:
b)Voters for the purpose of casting their vote;
c)A person assisting a physically incapacitated voter;
d)Properly appointed and identified Party/Coalition/Alliance representatives;
e)Such other persons as the Commission may approve, including national and international election monitors/observers and the press.
5.9National and International Observers:
The Commission shall allow the presence of National and International Observers during the entire electoral process.
1)A ballot shall be disallowed and included in the number of rejected ballots in the following circumstances:
a)If there is no mark in favor of any Party/Coalition/Alliance on the front of the ballot paper;
b)If the voter has voted for more than one (1) Party/Coalition/Alliance for the same elective office:
c)If there is any writing, signature or words on the ballot paper other than a mark for the Party/Coalition/Alliance; and
d)If the position of the mark for the Party/Coalition/Alliance on the ballot paper is such that it is not clear as for which Party/Coalition/Alliance the voter intended to vote.
5.11Closing Day and Counting Procedure;
1.At the end of the voting day, the presiding officer and his clerks, in the presence of Party/Coalition/Alliance representatives, shall begin the counting.
2.At each polling station, the presiding officer shall take a ballot paper, announce to whom it was cast, enable Party/Coalition/Alliance representatives and observers to determine the veracity of the pronouncement and give it to the clerk for deposition in the box of the Party/Coalition/Alliance for whom the vote was cat. This process shall continue until all the votes are counted.
3.The total of the votes is then inscribed on a tally sheet in duplicates and duly signed by the presiding officers and the Party/Coalition/Alliance representatives submits it to the Magistrate for the endorsement of the writ. Each duly accredited Party/Coalition/Alliance representative shall be given a copy of the tally sheet(s)
4.The presiding Officer will then return the counted ballots into the ballot box and seal same in the presence of the representatives of Parties/Coalitions/Alliances, Observers and Monitors.
5.The sealed ballot box, along with the signed tally sheet shall be submitted to the Magistrate by the presiding officer under the escort of ECOMOG, accompanied by representatives of the parties/coalitions/alliances, observers and monitors immediately after the count.
6.The final tally sheet, along with the sealed ballot box, shall be transmitted forthwith to the Commission by the Magistrate, accompanied by the representatives, observers and monitors under the escort of ECOMOG, and the magistrate shall present same to the Chairman with the Commission sitting en banc. In any case the sealed ballot boxes and the final tally sheets should be forwarded to the Commission within twenty-four (24) hours of the close of poll.
7.The results shall be announced by the Commission through its Chairman not later than 24 hours after receipt of the final tally sheets.
8.The issue of all challenged ballots shall be determined not later than three (3) days after the voting day.
9.Certification of official results shall take three (3) days after the determination of challenged ballots.
5.12Elections Results -- How Returned:
1)The election of the President, Vice President and members of the Legislature shall be by a single ballot,
The winning Presidential party shall be determined, on the basis of having obtained an absolute majority of the valid votes cast. If no candidate obtain an absolute majority, a run-off election shall be organized within a period of 14 days. The two candidates with the highest number of valid votes in the first election will contest the run-off election and the candidate obtaining the highest number of valid votes in the second round shall be declared the winner.
Seats for the House of the Senate and members of the House of Representatives shall be allocated to political parties/coalitions/alliances, on the basis of Proportional Representation using the country of Liberia as a single constituency. Each Party/Coalition/Alliance shall be awarded the number of seats in the Senate and the House in proportion to the percentage of valid votes won on the first round. There shall be twenty-six (26) members of the Senate and sixty-four (64) members of the House of Representatives.
A threshold for representation shall be set as 1.56 percent for the House of Representative and at 3.84 percent for the Senate to increase the accessibility and representativeness of these elections.
3)Allocation of Seat
The Commission shall invite political parties/coalitions/alliances, starting with the Party/Coalition/Alliance that have received the highest percentage to select their Senators and Representatives. The selection shall be made on an open list system and limited to the lists presented by the competing parties to the Commission. This list shall have been published by the Commission according to the relevant provisions of this Special Elections Law. Where two (2) or more parties achieve the same percentage the order of the selection of seats shall be determined by lottery.
Residual votes shall allotted to the Party/Coalition/Alliance that has the highest fraction of seats in the highest ranking order.
5.13Preservation of Writs, Ballots and Tally Sheets:
The Commission shall preserve all writs issued, ballots cast and all Tally Sheets for this election until the validity of such election and its results are no longer in dispute. The ballot papers may then be destroyed, but not before two (2) years after the day of polling.
Chapter 6 Voting:
6.1Who May Vote:
Citizens of Liberia who have attained the age of eighteen (18) have placed their name on a Registration Roll and present their Voter Registration Card at the time of voting.
6.2Where to Vote:
Voters shall cast their ballots at the same Center where they were registered, on presentation of their Voter Registration Card.
6.3Leave of Absence to Vote:
An employer shall allow an employee leave of absence to enable the employee to vote on election day.
6.4Voting in Person: Identification of Voter:
Every person attending a Polling Center to vote shall produce a Voter Registration Card before being permitted to vote.
If a registered voter is challenged by an Election Officer at the poll or by a representative of a political Party/Coalition/Alliance appointed to the poll, the said voter shall be permitted to vote only after a positive investigation and upon administration by the Sheriff of the following oath:I, . DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR OR AFFIRM THAT I HAVE NOT VOTED THIS DAY AT THE ELECTION AND THAT I AM TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE CONSTITUTIONALLY AND UNDER THE ELECTIONS LAW, QUALIFIED TO VOTE. SO HELP ME GOD/ALLAH.
Such oath subscribed to by such a person, shall be filed with election returns and shall be competent evidence against the subscriber upon a prosecution for perjury. Any ballot cast on oath, shall be placed in an envelope marked 'CHALLENGED VOTE' before it is placed in a ballot box. The envelope will have provision for the voter's personal details, address, signature, thumb print and the signature of the polling official.
6.6Casting of Ballot:
Upon receipt of the official ballot paper, the voter, unless he/she comes within the case provided for in section 6.7 of this Chapter following, shall without any delay, retire to an unoccupied voting compartment alone and therein privately mark his or her ballot paper in accordance with the instructions issued by the Commission and according to his choice. The voter shall then fold the ballot paper inwards forthwith, and place the same in the official ballot box. He/she shall then leave the polling place.
6.7Assistance to the Physically Incapacitated:
A voter who is physically incapacitated may request the assistance of a helper of his/her choice to mark the ballot in the presence of an election officer. The one assisting the voter shall retire with him to an unoccupied compartment along with the election officer and at his direction, help the person in the marking of the ballot paper and return the same properly folded for deposit in the official ballot box.
Chapter 7 Contested Election:
7.1Filing of Complaint with the Commission:
Any political Party/Coalition/Alliance which has justifiable reasons to believe that the elections were not impartially conducted and not in keeping with these procedures, which resulted in the defeat of the Party/Coalition/Alliance, or the loss of a significant number of votes for the Party/Coalition/Alliance, shall have the right to file a complaint with the Commission; such complaint must be filed not later than three (3) days after the final results of the election are announced.
7.2Investigation and Decision:
1)Time schedule. The Commission upon receipt of the complaint of the Party/Coalition/Alliance shall within seven (7) days cite the parties, conduct an impartial investigation, and render a determination as provided for in Paragraph 2 of this section. The determination shall be accompanied by a summary of the investigation and the reason for it.
2)Effect of determination. The decision of the Commission shall have the following effects:
a)If the presidential candidate returned is declared not to be duly elected, but had already assumed such office, he/she shall with immediate effect cease to hold such office.
b)If any person not returned is declared duly elected to an office, he/she shall assume such office immediately:
c)If any election is declared void, a new election shall be held.
3)Harmless errors not to vitiate election. No election shall be declared void on account of any delay in nominations; the polling, the return of the writ, or on account of the absence or error of any official which shall be deemed, not to have had any effect on the result of the election.
4)Bribery: Undue Influence: - Effect on Election.
If at the trial of a contested election result, it is found that a Party/Coalition/Alliance, or candidate from that Party/Coalition/Alliance's list, has committed or attempted to commit bribery or exert undue influence, that Party/Coalition/Alliance or candidate, if such candidate acted on his/her own, the Party/Coalition/Alliance is elected, then the election of the Party/Coalition/Alliance's candidate shall be declared void.
5)No decision that any person returned was not elected, and no decision that an election is void, shall be made:
a)On the grounds of any election offence committed by a person or persons other than members of the Party/Coalition/Alliance, or the Party/Coalition/Alliance candidate, and without the knowledge of the Party/Coalition/Alliance, or the candidate, or the consent of the Party/Coalition/Alliance or candidate:
b)On the ground of an election offense other than bribery or corruption.
c)No decision that any Party/Coalition/Alliance was not elected, and no decision that an election is void, shall be made on the grounds of any elections offence committed by the Party/Coalition/Alliance with the exception bribery corruption.
d)No finding at the trial of the contested election shall bar or prejudice any prosecution for any election offense.
7.3Right of Appeal to Supreme Court of Liberia by parties or Contestant:
Any contestant/parties affected by the decision of the Commission, shall have the right to appeal to the Supreme Court of Liberia not later than three (3) days after the decision is rendered.
7.4Bill of Exceptions Content:
1)Content. The Bill of Exceptions shall:
a)state clearly and distinctly the grounds of exceptions of the facts relied upon to reverse the decision of the Commission:
b)contain a prayer for the relief sought; and
c)be sighed by the appealing contestant.
7.5Filing and Service of Bill of Exceptions:
Within three (3) days after the Commission's determination of a contested result, any contestant appealing from the determination, shall file his/her Bill of Exceptions with the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court, certified and with the seal of the Supreme Court thereon affixed. A copy shall be furnished to the person apparently elected or in whose favor the Commission has decided; also service shall be made on the Commission through its Chairman. The Commission shall then within seven (7) days of receipt of the Bill of Exceptions, file with the Clerk of the Supreme Court, its return and serve a copy thereof on the contestant.
The contestant shall enter into a recognizance to the amount of Two Hundred Thousand ($200,000.00) dollars for the payment of costs incurred on the appeal with respect to the election of a President or Vice President. For all other elections, the amount shall be One Hundred Thousand ($100,000.00) dollars.
7.7Hearing and Determination by the Supreme Court:
Upon filing of briefs by both contestants and the Commission within the time allowed by this Law, the Clerk upon orders of the Court, shall docket the proceeding on a separate docket calendar, thus notifying the parties of the assignment for hearing arguments produced by the Supreme Court en banc. Based upon the briefs produced by both parties, the Clerk upon orders of the Court, will notify the parties of the date and time of rendition of final judgement. If the Supreme Court sustains the decision of the Commission, the Commission shall act to effectuate the mandate of the court. If the Supreme Court reverses the decision of the Commission, for whatever reason, the Commission shall within fifteen (15) days, after judgement of the Court, execute the mandate of the Supreme Court accordingly.
Chapter 8 Election Expenses:
8.1Who May Contribute:
As herein after provided, any citizen(s), political Party/Coalition/Alliance, association or organization, being of Liberian nationality or origin, shall have the right to contribute to the funds and election expenses of any political Party/Coalition/Alliance; such contribution shall be accompanied by filing with the Commission such information as the source; the date of the remittance; the amount of such contribution and such other information necessary or required by the Commission.
Notwithstanding the above, no corporate, business organization, religious institution or labor union may contribute to the funds or the election expenses of any political Party/Coalition/Alliance or any candidate, and any contribution made in violation of this provision shall, by the Commission, be declared forfeited. All forfeited funds shall be immediately surrendered to the Commission.
8.2Remittance of Funds From Outside Liberia to Political Parties/coalitions/alliances; Restriction:
There shall be no remittance of funds or other assets to any political Party/Coalition/Alliance, organization, or candidate from outside Liberia, unless remitted or sent by Liberian citizens residing abroad, which amount shall be restricted to not more than One Thousand ($1,000.00) United States Dollars per Liberian Citizen. Any funds or other assets received directly or indirectly in contravention of this restriction shall be turned over or transferred to the Commission within seven (7) days of receipt to be kept in escrow, in a designated bank. After thorough investigation has been made, such funds shall be turned over to the political Party/Coalition/Alliance or organization or candidate to whom the money was sent if found not in contravention of this restriction. In the event of a determined violation of this provision, the relevant funds shall escheat to the State through the Commission.
8.3Limitation of election Expenses; Expenses per Party/Coalition/Alliance:
Election expenses shall not be incurred or authorized by a Party/Coalition/Alliance in excess of Three Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($3,500,000.00).
8.4Account of Political Parties and Requirements for Instruction and Examination:
Within two weeks after the publication of this law, all registered political parties/coalitions/alliances in the country shall furnish the Commission with the names of the banking institutions with which they maintain accounts respectively, indicating the dates of the establishment of the banking account; the account number and the names of the Party/Coalition/Alliance officials upon whose signatures funds are withdrawn from the bank.
Sanction: Failure to comply with the provision of this Law shall constitute an election offense.
Chapter 9 Forms of Association of Political Parties:
9.1Merger and Consolidation:
Registered political parties may be allowed to merge or consolidate as provided by this section.
Registered political parties wishing to merge or consolidate shall each pass a resolution consenting to the merger or consolidation signed by two-thirds of the members of their respective Executive Committees.
2)Plan of Merger or Consolidation:
The Executive Committee of each registered political Party/Coalition/Alliance proposing to participate in the merger or consolidation shall approve a plan of merger or consolidation setting forth:
a)The name of each constituent registered political Party/Coalition/Alliance;
b)Terms and conditions of the proposed merger or consolidation;
c)In case of merger, a statement of any amendment in articles of incorporation of the surviving registered political Party/Coalition/Alliance to be effected by such merger, and in case of consolidation, all statements required to be included in articles of incorporation for a political Party/Coalition/Alliance.
3)Approval of Plan of Merger or Consolidation:
The Executive Committee of each constituent political Party/Coalition/Alliance, upon approving the plan of merger or consolidation, shall make a joint submission to IECOM.
9.2Articles of Merger or Consolidation:
After approval of the plan of merger or consolidation by their respective Executive Committee, the articles of merger or consolidation shall be executed by the Executive Committee of each political Party/Coalition/Alliance and verified by its Chairman, which shall set forth:
1)The plan of the merger or consolidation, any statement required to be included in the Articles of Incorporation;
2)The date when the Articles of Incorporation of each constituent political Party/Coalition/Alliance were filed with the Commission, probated and registered;
3)The manner in which the merger or consolidation was authorized with respect to each constituent political Party/Coalition/Alliance.
9.3Filing of Articles of Merger or Articles of Consolidation:
The articles of merger or consolidation shall be filed with the Commission in accordance with guidelines laid down by the Commission, the said articles shall be accompanied by certified copies of the resolution of each constituent Party/Coalition/Alliance consenting to the merger or consolidation, the approved plan to merge or consolidate and the votes taken by each Executive Committee authorizing the merger or consolidation.
9.4When Merger or Consolidation Effective:
Commission, the Commission shall make sure and be satisfied that each constituent political Party/Coalition/Alliance participating in the merger or consolidation has complied with these provisions. The participating political parties being cleared of all their obligations and requirements, the Commission shall issue a certificate of accreditation to the merged political Party/Coalition/Alliance under its name and shall exercise franchise granted to a political Party/Coalition/Alliance as if it were originally certificated as such.
Nothing shall preclude the formation of coalitions/alliances by existing political parties, be it on a temporary or long term basis, for the purpose of achieving a commonly shared political objective in these elections. Any two or more Registered Political Parties, shall be allowed to form coalition/alliance as provided for below:
The said political parties organizing to form a coalition/alliance, shall submit to the Commission an Agreement signed by no less than two-thirds of the members of the Executive Committees of each participating registered political Party/Coalition/Alliance.
2)Plan of Coalition/Alliance:
The Executive Committee of each registered political party proposing to participate in the coalition/alliance shall approve an Agreement of Coalition/Alliance setting forth:
a)The name of each constituent registered political Party/Coalition/Alliance;
b)The terms and condition of the Agreement of Coalition/Alliance;
c)A new acronym;
d)A new Symbol;
e)A single list of candidates for the positions of President, Vice President and for the Legislature.
3)Agreement of Coalition/Alliance: Content:
In addition to section 9.5 (2), said Agreement shall set forth the following provisions:
a)that for the period of these elections each of the contracting parties, though not losing their individual identity, shall cease to function and operate as a separate, independent political party for the purpose of canvassing for votes or engaging in any other electioneering activities for the purpose of these special election.
b)That no member of the Coalition/Alliance of Political Parties so recognized by the Commission, shall be permitted to withdraw from the Coalition/Alliance for the period of these elections.
4)Approval of Agreement of Coalition/Alliance:
1)The Executive Committee of each constituent political party in the Coalition/Alliance, shall affix their signatures over their party seals to the Coalition/Alliance Agreement document.
2)The Coalition/Alliance document bearing the signatures of two-thirds of the Executives of each of the Constituent political parties, shall be forwarded to the Commission under cover of a letter form the Coalition/Alliance Presidential candidate, seeking the approval of the Commission to function as a political entity, at least three (3) days before the time limit for the submission of the names of candidates.
3)On the receipt by the Commission of the duly executed original of the Agreement of Coalition/Alliance, and upon approval, the Commission shall present the Coalition/Alliance with a certificate, to operate as a recognized political entity in these Special 1997 Presidential and General Elections, and to enjoy the rights and privileges of single entity political parties, as well as incur the obligation to abide by the Elections Law, as set out by the Commission.
Chapter 10Dissolution of Political Party/Coalition/Alliance:
10.1Dissolution of Political Party/Coalition/Alliance:
A political Party/Coalition/Alliance, which has a perpetual existence according to its Articles of Incorporation or Agreement, shall be dissolved according to the provisions of the Association Laws of Liberia. However, notice of dissolution shall be served on the Commission within ten (10) days after the effective date of dissolution.
Chapter 11Elections Offenses:
11.1Acts Constituting Malfeasance:
The following acts committed on elections day within the confines of a polling center, shall constitute elections offenses, punishable under this chapter;
a)Influencing or attempting to influence the results or the election;
b)Omitting or refusing to sign the register or any other document which is required to be signed in connection with the election without just cause;
c)Committing or attempting to commit any act designed to affect the intention of the voter;
d)Unlawful disclosure of any knowledge officially acquire touching the vote of any voter.
Any election officer, or any person guilty of any of the above, is punishable by a fine of not more than One Hundred Thousand ($100,000) dollars and/or Imprisonment for not less than one year and not more than five years or both.
For the purpose of this Law, bribery as an election offense, is where any of the following acts is committee and shall attract a fine of not less than Five Hundred Thousand ($500.000.00) Dollars or imprisonment for not less than five (5) years or both:
a)Any person offering or causing to be offered money or anything of value or benefit or promising to give anything of value with intent to induce or influence any person, election officer or poll worker, in connection with an election which in so doing will tend to affect the true election results.
b)Receiving money or any valuable consideration or promise for the purpose of influencing any vote or canceling or destroying any ballot paper; ballot box; election writs; a signed register with the intent to defeat the purpose of the election, and
c)Anyone who offers money or receives money or valuable consideration for the purpose of influencing the voters to vote or not to vote, for a particular Party/Coalition/Alliance.
11.3Offenses in Relation to Registration Cards:
Any person who does any of the following acts, shall be guilty of an election offense punishable by a fine not less than Five Hundred Thousand ($500,000) Dollars or one (1) year imprisonment or both;
a)Printing or distributing any registration card:
b)Altering any registration card;
c)Using or attempting to use during this election, a registration card issued to another voter;
d)Selling or stealing a registration card;
e)Taking or holding another person's Registration Card with the intention of returning it to the elector at the polling place so as to influence his/her vote by intimidation.
11.4Unlawful Disclosure of Knowledge Relating to the Vote of any Voter.
Any Party/Coalition/Alliance representative or any individual assisting the voter, who discloses any knowledge acquired in his capacity as such relating to the vote of any voter, is guilty of an election offense and punishable by a fine of not more than Two Hundred Thousand ($200,000) dollars or by imprisonment of not less than one (1) year or both.
Any person who, in connection with this election, commits or attempts to commit any of the following acts, is guilty of an election offense and punishable by a fine of not more than One Hundred thousand ($100,000) dollars or by Imprisonment for not less than one (1) year or both.
a)Threatens any person(s) or officer(s), or procures, suggests and uses or causes to be used any violence; or inflicts or causes to be inflicted any injury, corporal punishment, damages, losses or disadvantages to any person, in support of a political Party/Coalition/Alliance or a candidate, or
b)Publishes by spoken, written or printed words, or by signing in whatever form or any matter, intended or tending to prevent any person(s) from the free exercise of his/her franchise or such acts which threaten, or suggest any damage, loss or disadvantage either in the present or in the future, or on account of a political Party/Coalition/Alliance or his political opinion; or
c)Publishes or exposes, or causes to be published or exposed to public view, at any time between the issuance of an Election Writ and the close of the Poll thereon, any document written or printed matter containing any untrue statement, defamatory of any Party/Coalition/Alliance or candidate and calculated to influence the vote of any voter.
11.6Destruction, Removal or Mutilation of Ballot Papers or Boxes:
Any person who carries away, destroys, conceals or mutilates, or attempts to carry away, destroy, conceal or mutilate any ballot paper, register, ballot box, election writ, certificate or returns of any official document made in connection with this election for the purpose of invalidating the result of the election, is guilty of an election offense and punishable by a fine of not less than One Hundred Thousand ($100,000) but not more than Five Hundred Thousand ($500,000) Dollars or by imprisonment for a period of not less than one (1) year but not more than five (5) years or both.
11.7Incurring Unauthorized Election Expenses:
Any political Party/Coalition/Alliance which incurs any election expenses in excess of the limitation set by the Commission, is guilty of an election offense and is punishable by a fine of Five Hundred Thousand ($500,000.00) Dollars or fifty percent of the excess amount spent or whichever is greater.
11.8Ballot Paper Fraud I:
Any person who impersonates another for the purpose of voting or for the purpose of securing a ballot paper, or who forges any nomination or ballot and/or alters, prints and supplies ballot papers without authority is guilty of an election offense and punishable by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Thousand (500,000.00) but not more than One Million ($1,000,000.00) dollars and by imprisonment not exceeding five (5) years.
11.9Ballot Paper Fraud II:
Any person who fraudulently places any ballot paper or any paper into the official ballot box, or who fraudulently takes any official ballot paper out of any polling place, is guilty of an election offense and punishable by a fine of not less than One Hundred Thousand ($100,000) but not more than Five Hundred Thousand ($500,000) Dollars or by imprisonment not less than one (1) year or both.
11.10Plural Voting at this Election:
Any person who votes or attempts to vote more than once at this election, is guilty of an election offense and is punishable by a fine not exceeding Five Hundred Thousand ($500,000.00) Dollars or by imprisonment for not less than one (1) year or both.
11.11False Statements with regard to registration as eligible voter and objections:
Any person who willfully makes a false statement in any objection to a registration claim or to any name being on the registration roll, or who signs as the claimant on a Voter Registration Card in the name of another person, is guilty of an election offence punishable by a fine of not less than Ten Thousand ($10,000) and not more than Fifty Thousand ($50,000) dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months.
(1)Publication and/or Distribution: - Any person who publishes and/or distributes a handbill, pamphlet, notice or other advertisement relating to this election, which does not include a prominently displayed name at the end or beginning thereof and address of the person authorizing or publishing it, is guilty of an election offense and is punishable by a fine of not more than Fifty Thousand ($50,000) Dollars or by imprisonment for not less than six (6) months or both.
(1)Representatives: - Any Party/Coalition/Alliance representative accredited to the polling place or any person impersonating a representative who violates the provisions of section 5.7 (1), is guilty of an election offense and is punishable by a fine of Fifty Thousand ($50,000) Dollars or by imprisonment for not less than six (6) months.
(2)Single Offenses: - Any person who fails to obey the lawful direction of the presiding officer or any poll worker in a polling place on election day, or misconducts himself by committing a breach of the peace or threat, is guilty of an election offense and is punishable by a fine of not more than Ten Thousand ($10,000) Dollars or by imprisonment for not more than thirty (30) days or both, and shall be ordered removed form the polling place by the security forces provided by ECOMOG.
(3)Re-Entry of Polling Place After Being Removed: - Any person ordered to be removed from a polling place by the presiding officer on election day or any person authorized by him for failure to obey the lawful directions of the presiding officer or for misconduct by treat, is guilty of an election offense and punishable by a fine of Fifty Thousand ($50,000.00) dollars or six (6) months imprisonment.
(4)Any person who, after the official close of campaigning in this election, including Election Day, or any day to which the election is adjourned, canvasses for votes, or solicits the vote of any voter, or induces any voter to vote or not to vote for any particular party/Coalition/Alliance at the election, is guilty of an election offense and is punishable by a fine of not more than Five Hundred Thousand ($500,000.00) Dollars or by imprisonment for not less than one (1) year or both. This section also applies to canvassing in both the electronic and print media after the official close of campaigning. The election campaign shall be officially closed twenty four hours before the start of polling.
11.14Refusal to Serve When Elected;
Failure to serve in a seat won by a Party/Coalition/Alliance and allocated to a candidate, is a serious election offense by anyone and is punishable by a fine of not more than Two Hundred Thousand ($200,000.00) Dollars or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five (5) years or both.
11.15Freedom of Travel Throughout the Country and the Use of Public Facilities by Political Parties:
Political parties shall without any let or hindrance whatsoever by any official action, have the right to travel throughout the length and breadth of the country, to canvass for membership or for elective public office, and to hold and conduct orderly meetings and political rallies to raise funds or for any lawful purposes in the free exercise of their political franchise, being responsible for the abuser of such right. They shall be entitled to appropriate security protection by ECOMOG only.
Political parties also have the right to use, and shall not be denied the right to use, any public building or such public facilities necessary and appropriate for their purpose.
Any person or persons using their official power to deny or interfere with the free travel to any part of the country of a political Party/Coalition/Alliance or persons accredited by such Party/Coalition/Alliance to travel to any part of the country, or after a public notice of the holding of an orderly political meeting or rally shall have been given, and after being granted due permit by the Commission, disrupts the holding of any such meeting or rally or deny or refuse to allow the use of any public facility to any political Party/Coalition/Alliance involved, shall be subject to a fine upon a proved complaint of the political Party/Coalition/Alliance affected or involved.
In this election year and upon declaration of the opening of campaign by the Commission and during such period, any person or persons violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of an election offense punishable by a fine of Fifty Thousand ($50,000.00) dollars to be paid forthwith. Notwithstanding any such administrative action, should any damage result by the misconduct of any person or persons, the Party/Coalition/Alliance or person so affected shall have a civil remedy under the appropriate provision of the Civil Procedure Law Revised.
11.16Abusive and Profane Language and slogan as an Election Offense:
It shall be an election offense punishable by a fine of One Hundred Thousand ($100,000.00) Dollars for political parties or candidates, when having their political rallies or demonstrations or in radio broadcasts or newspaper articles to abuse another political Party/Coalition/Alliance or its leaders or candidates by the use of profane language or slogans tending to reflect on such Party/Coalition/Alliance or its leaders or a particular ethnic group or groups.
11.17Unfair Political Practices:
1)Under the multi-Party/Coalition/Alliance system provided under the Constitution, every citizen of legal age of this Republic is entitled to join any political Party/Coalition/Alliance of his choice and may resign therefrom for any reason without molestation.
2)Administrative officials and para-military personnel or any personnel or any person or persons shall be guilty of an election offense if they arrest, detain, maltreat, or interfere with any citizen because of the exercise of his political right to join a Party/Coalition/Alliance of his choice or because he refused to join a Party/Coalition/Alliance or because he resigned there form in the exercise of his political franchise or being such a member befriends a member of another Party/Coalition/Alliance, supports a particular Party/Coalition/Alliance, shall be guilty of an election offense and punishable by a fine of Two Hundred ($200 000.00) Dollars.
3)In case of a person other than an employee or an official of government and in the case of an official of government, military or paramilitary personnel, he/she or they shall be summarily dismissed from office upon the recommendation of the Commission. Should there be any injury sustained from such misconduct or damage or loss suffered, the affected person or persons shall be entitled to a Civil remedy at law.
4)All military and para-military personnel are hereby prohibited from forming political parties but may participate in political activities by voting for the Party/Coalition/Alliance of their choice during this election
11.18Unlawful election Propaganda: Prohibited Acts:
1)It shall be an offence against these Elections laws, for any political Party/Coalition/Alliance to do any of the following;
a)Disseminate propaganda which contains false statements intended to:
i) create unrest; disloyalty; rebellion or terrorism among the Liberian people.
ii)Overthrow, subvert or bring the sate authority into disrepute at home or abroad: or
b)Publish anonymous writings affecting or commenting on the conduct of these elections.
c)Engage or consent to the engagement of aliens as members or officials of an organized political Party/Coalition/Alliance or candidate.
11.19Penalty For Any Offenses Not Provided:
A violation of any provision of this Law for which no other punishment is provided, is punishable by a fine not less than Fifty Thousand ($50,000.00) Dollars.
This Special Elections Law shall cease to have legal effect, with the exception of a thirty (30) days period thereafter provided for herein for the continued existence of the Commission, upon taking of Oath of office by the President and Vice president elect.
DONE IN THE CITY OF MONROVIA, REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA, AT THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE INDEPENDENT ELECTIONS COMMISSION, LOCATED AT THE CORNER OF 17TH STREET AND PAYNE AVENUE, SINKOR, THIS ------ DAY OF-------- A.D.1997.
A.NATIONAL VOTING MEMBERS:
|G. HENRY ANDREWS
|CLLR. GLORIA M. SCOTT
|HON. GBENIMAH B. SLOPADOE
|DR. D. EVELYN S. KANDAKAI
|HON. J. KORMAH BRYEMAH, SR.
|ATTY. MORRIS A. KABA
|HON. J. TIAH NAGBE
B.INTERNATIONAL NON-VOTING MEMBERS:
|AMBASSADOR ISAAC J. SAGAY
|DR. AMARE TEKLE
|MAHMAD ALLY DAHOO
|CHAIRMAN OF THE AUTHORITY OF THE ECOWAS HEADS OF STATES AND GOVERNMENT GENERAL SANI ABACHA
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