The campaign for the race to fill the vacancies created in the National Legislature by the demise of Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff and the death District #15 Representative Adolph Lawrence generated a heated debate on which political alliances actually has Montserrado as its stronghold. In the recent political history of the country, the Congress for Democratic Change now the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) usually won other political groupings, in the first rounds of presidential political contests, the latest culminated to a second round win that produced the CDC’s standard bearer, Liberia’s football legend George Manneh Weah as Liberia’s 25th President. The ownership of Montserrado by the CDC was even manifested in legislative competitions where when Weah lifted a candidate’s hand, that contest must favor the CDC. Judging from the records of CDC victories in Montserrado, President Weah said the Party owners Montserrado and that as President, he did not see the four opposition collaborating candidates winning the 2019 by-elections for the county’s seat and District #15; but preliminary results so far posted and announced from polling places Proved the CDC’s claim to Montserrado County wrong as the ruling establishments’ candidate Pualita CC Wie lingers far behind the opposition candidate Abraham Darius Dillon with wide margin; but CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlue through a Facebook post has disputed the preliminary results; The ANALYST’s Bill Jarkloh reports.
“This is a protest victor” an old-lady who was part of jubilation in Central Monrovia described the early lead of the Opposition Collaborating parties comprising Dillon’s Liberty Party (LP), former governing Unity Party (UP), the Alternative National Congress (ANC) and the All-Liberia Party (ALP). Many others who spoke to our reporters consider the early a product of protest votes by angry Liberians who have been bewildered by the high standard of living characterized by corruption in the government, bigotry and what the opposition considered ‘ineptitude’ on the part of some officials.
The rate of the United States dollar against the Liberian dollar at present rises to $1 USD –L$200. The huge inflation that has burdened the economy came in the aftermath of protests by angry crowds in demand for what was called “16 billion Liberian dollars” said to have gone mission from state coffers and another US$25 million that was intended to mop up excess Liberian dollar liquidity from the money market, which has not been properly accounted for.
In the wake of these protestations were the by-elections campaigns during which President Weah Claimed the CDC’s ownership of Montserrado County, where he said the opposition’s Dillon and Urey will not win elections while he is President.
But during their last political rally at the Unity Party Headquarters, Mr. Dillon and others challenged the CDCpolitical leader, President Weah, questioning him: “Who gives you the deed for Montserrado County?”
One of those who were critical of what they saw as an attempt to cheat, was opposition Unity Party’s Chairman Wilmot Paye, who Shortly before he presented the candidates of the opposition bloc to jubilant opposition supporters on July 13, 2017, warned the election governing body and the ruling party against at any act of cheating during the ensuing bi-elections. Chairman PAYE frowned on the multiple postponement of the bi-elections which he said is not good or the process indicated that the postponement.
Mr. Paye at the time accused the National Elections Commission Chairman Jerome Korkoyah of acting contrary to the laws, saying that Korkoyah is seeking extension of his tenure at the NEC but warned that those who are opting for cheating in the process will “… have to find a new planet to go to” to cheat.
“When they tamper with this election,” Mr. Paye noted, “they will tramper with their entire existence in this country.” Paye said previous voters’ roster will be used to checkmate whether or not there are new and excess voters on the new roster that the NEC will issue for the bi-elections .
“We have the 2007 voter roll and the rest of the election voters’ roll. We are waiting for the one they will bring during these elections. We will compare them. One more voter added to a precinct, the will see the wrath, the vexation and the anger of the people,” he further warned.
He indicated that the opposition bloc has already informed the international community including the EU, the AU, ECOWAS and the American Embassy amongst others of the machinations by NEC and the ruling party to cheat.
Similarly, Mr. Dillon sounded a caveat against any act of cheating during these by-elections. Dillon indicated Weah, sitting as president, issued a threat to the effect that as long as he George remains President of Liberia, Darius Dillon and Telia Urey will never win any election in this country.
He explained that although some people took the threat for mere bluff; some other thought that he is so politically strong and popular; but the Dillon campaign team took it seriously and raise the alarm that George Weah did not only issue those threats in vain.
“As we see that the National Election Commission has begun to put those threat into action, George Weah as president of the Republic of Liberia has begun to use the National Election Commission because he knows and already feels the heat that both of his candidates for Montserrado and for District #15 will not win the bi-elections and cannot win the elections by the popular votes of the people.
He pointed out that the NEC has announced another postponement of the senatorial and representative by-elections for Montserrado County because Weah and the election commissioners believe that buying time earns them the votes that they need to become victorious.
“We frown on this, we detest it, we reject it and we will let the international partners know so as to get involve. This is because we are ready for these elections, we are determined to win these elections; our people are ready to vote amass to have the biggest turn out in the bi-elections in the history of our country,” Mr. Dillon asserted.
In the face of these exchanges, the election was finally held, and results posted have indicated two set of candidates in the lead, although ruling CDC’s Paulita Wie and Abu Kamara are lingering far behind opposition candidates Abraham Darius Dillon and Telia Urey who are far ahead in the Senatorial and Representative By-election, according to preliminary results posted at polling places in Monrovia and around Montserrado as announced on various independent radio stations.
But as pre-victory jubilation engulfed Monrovia and its environs for the achievements of Mr. Dillon and Ms. Urey at the polls, the Chairman of the ruling CDC, Mulbah K. Morlu, greeted the preliminary results differently.
“My profound gratitude to mighty CDCians and the great people of Montserrado County for delivering a double victory as expected,” Mr. Morlu said. According to the CDC chairman, “…based on unimpeachable facts, the CDC has again defied defeat, noting that Pualita Abu all the way, as Dillon and the Ureys can wait to try again,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, songs of victory and political slogans sounded across several parts of Monrovia as official results for the senatorial and Representative elections are expected to be announced by the National Elections Commission today.