The December 8, 2020 special senatorial election has come and gone, leaving in its wake a lot of surprises, jubilations and heartaches. But amidst all of the electoral hoopla, hype and conspiracy theories that suggested a huge win for the ruling party either by hook or crook, one of the biggest surprises of the just gone midterm senatorial elections is that, while on the one hand polling around the country went on smoothly without any major crisis, the outcome of the results on the other hand has left many in shock and awe, especially against the backdrop that the ruling party which had marshaled all of its material and human resources to win the 15 contested senatorial seats has so far won a paltry four seats. It is against this background that former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf took up time to congratulate the National Elections Commission and President George M. Weah for respecting the will of the people.
“Bravo to NEC Davidetta Browne-Lansanah and to President George Weah for respecting the will of the Liberian people in the just ended Dec. 8 Senatorial By-Election,” Madam Sirleaf stated Monday, December 14, 2020 via her official Twitter account.
Madam Sirleaf commendations to NEC boss Browne- Lansanah and President Weah have elicited positive responses from the public, with many welcoming her statement as meaningful to the peace process.
“Thanks Ma Ellen for your continued support in helping us to sustain the peace. Your efforts and the efforts of other well-meaning Liberians will always be appreciated by every peace loving Liberian. God bless you, “one happy Liberian responded on Twitter.
“This is what leadership should be about. We need you around us to continue giving us good counsel,” another elated Liberian stated.
Prior to the elections, there had been high expectations that the actual polling would have been marred by serious violence, given the spate of violence that occasioned petitioning and campaigning events around the country. But the smoothness of the polling, which closed by 6pm on Tuesday evening on December 8 gave many hope that Liberians were ready to settle their differences at the ballot box instead of combat.
With 99.85% votes tallied by the NEC, covering 5,902 out 5,911 polling places, the ruling party is bracing for a shocking defeat. Vote rich counties including Montserrado, Lofa, Bong and Grand Bassa, as well as lesser vote rich counties such as Grand Cape Mount, River Gee have all fallen to the opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP); while Bomi, Margibi and Rivercess have been won by candidates with very close ties to the opposition.
In the hotly contested Gbarpolu County, Independent senatorial candidate Madam Botoe Kanneh still leads Alfred Koiwood of the CDC by 4,767 to 4,281 votes, with elections held Tuesday December 15 at the last four remaining polling places.
Pundits are of the belief that although there have been isolated incidences of intimidation on voting day at a few polling places in one or two counties, the government of Liberia, through the National Elections Commission, has conducted itself to the expectation of the Liberian people, thus the commendation from former President Sirleaf was timely.
“I am a strong opposition member, but I never expected that CDC would have lost their stronghold Montserrado without putting up a physical fight, during the voting day and after the elections. I was happy when I listened to defeated candidate Thomas Fallah conceding to Senator Dillon. This is real leadership,” says James Manobah of Banjor community in Montserrado County District 17.