The representative election in District #13 yesterday started as early as 8PM, but turnout was very poor. Electorates started coming to polling drop by drop, while massive police presence was seen in the morning. At 6:p.m. polling ended peacefully with the CDC candidate John J. Weah reportedly in the lead according to preliminary results from polling centers.
According to our reporter who covered yesterday’s by-election in District #13, at polling centers, groups on the side expressed fear that violence may erupt as report from the Methodist Precinct in Topoe Village has noted an alleged discovery of a knife on a voter.
The report spoke of speculations of the presence of militants in the area, but the speculations was never confirmed up the closed of polling yesterday.
A Unity Party (UP) Poll supervisor was seen advising her poll watchers at the Gabriel Kpolleh High School Precincts to be vigilant, hinting that they have been informed that the incumbent party was marking ballots at a local night club (name withheld) that they intended to bring and make part of ballots during counting.
The UP Poll supervisor advice to poll watchers came after speculations that the CDC was marking extra ballots for its candidate John Weah.
“Be vigilant! Don’t let any bag into the voting area because we heard they are marking ballots somewhere to cheat “, the poll supervisor of the Unity Party alleged.
But a senior police officer who did not want to be named said the LNP was in readiness to deal with any eventuality. He said the Liberian National Police was aware that anything could happen, taking queue from the Saturday confrontation between the Cornelia Togba’s Unity Party and the CDC group.
The senior police officer indicated that the LNP and the National Election Commission have security as one of the important aspects of the Bi-election, saying that security is stepped up with police patrols in addition to the two – five police officers assigned at each precinct depending on the size of the precinct.
Journalist’s and poll supervisors were later bundled out of the polling centers at the Gabriel Kpolleh School which carried a lot of polling precincts in District #13 in New Georgia Estate. Information says the same was applied at other polling centers across district.
It was openly said among supporters of Candidate John Weah that the CDC will do all it can to ensure that the party retains the seat of Saah Joseph, who was elected as Senator for Montserrado County on the CDC ticket.
In spite of the speculations of the ballot papers marking by the CDC and the alleged presence of militants in District #13, polling ended peacefully yesterday with results started coming in that reportedly put CDC’s John J. Weah in the lead.