Count Us Out Of The Elections If… -Aggrieved Residents React To Disqualification Of Thomas Tweh In The District # 11
MONROVIA: Aggrieved voters in electoral district # 11, Montserrado County have threatened to boycott the ensuing October 10 presidential and legislative elections as a result of the disqualification of their leading Representative Candidate Thomas Nimene Tweh by the Supreme Court of Liberia.
Last week, the Court mandated the National Elections Commission (NEC) to nullify the candidacy of Mr. Tweh, who is commonly known as Original Country Man (OCM), on grounds that he was ineligible to contest following a domicile case filed against him by candidate Siah Tandanpollie of the New Liberia Party (NLP).
Tandapollie contended that Mr. Tweh does not reside in district # 11, but God Grace Community in Louisiana, district # 1 in Montserrado County .
As a result of the Court’s ruling which was in keeping with Article 30 (b) of the 1986 constitution, supporters of Mr. Tweh are being subjected to provocations and humiliation from their political archrivals. His campaign flyers and banners were being taken down by supporters of his political archrivals.
The citizens are planning to set road blocks and boycott the October 1o elections as a result against the decision taken against Mr. Tweh until steps are taken to prevent the unnecessary disqualification of a candidate less than 36 days to the elections.
Speaking to Reporters over the weekend, the Spokesman of the aggrieved women, Theresa Davies disclosed that citizens of the district are disenchanted over the manner and form in which their “choice” was denied from exercising his political right to represent his people.
“Mr. Tweh is our choice; if you look at the way people went to his house that night after the court ruling, you will know that people really love and want him to represent them. We will not vote for this government or support any of their candidates in this district or county because of the decision from the court,” Theresa Davies, noted
She emphasized that financial resources, energy and efforts applied by hundreds of residents to canvass and support the election of Mr. Tweh have been wasted as a result of the court’s ruling.
According to her, the district will not be a place for citizens to live in peace and harmony because; Mr. Tweh and his supporters are currently being provoked and humiliated by supporters of other candidates contesting in the elections.
“We see our future and a better future for our children in Mr. Tweh and we want him to represent us. Nobody should be denied from contesting to give others a free ride. We have been poorly represented for so long, and you can see that even though Mr. Tweh or Original Country Man is running as an independent candidate, you can see the thousands of supporters he has. If he doesn’t contest, the government should count us out of the elections.”
Madam Davies maintained that there currently exists a high level of division or disunity among residents of the district following the High Court’s ruling.
“There is already no unification or reconciliation in this country and the court came up with this ruling. Do they want us to continue to be divided or make confusion among ourselves? We don’t want to go back to the old days and so, the court should be there to render decisions to stabilize the society instead of dividing people.”
“Mr. Tweh is the only one now that can tell us to vote or rethink our decision to vote for this person as President, Senator or Representative because the court says he should not contest. We see him as our political leader, the same way Nimba County people sees Prince Johnson.”
Also speaking, Richard Harris, 30, said vast majority of youths in the district are disturbed and downhearted as a result of the court’s ruling.
He recalled that one of the root causes of Liberian civil conflict was dissatisfaction over the outcome of election results and as such, the judiciary must exert efforts to render impartial judgments on electoral cases during this electioneering period in Liberia.
He said Liberia would slip back to the old days if wrong decisions are taken to please a selective few people over the majority.
“We don’t want any chaos in our country; but the decision from the court has the propensity of stirring up confusion in our district because, people who know some of us to be supporting Mr. Tweh now sees us as their laughing stock; they are provoking us and nobody is saying anything about that. For me, I may not retaliate, but others will act and things will get out of hand-even though we are not praying for that.”
“Since the Supreme Court ruling, our people have been having sleepless nights because, Mr. Tweh is our choice. Denying him from participating in the elections is a big blow to us,” the Spokesman of the aggrieved citizens Mr. David Nimely, 48 stated.
He said though residents of the district cannot question the ruling rendered by the Supreme Court, they would be poorly represented because, Mr. Tweh was the one endorsed and embraced to help transform district # 11.
Mr. Nimely emphasized that the district may not be stable as compare to other districts across the country, because of the court’s decision.
He claimed that the hope and aspiration of residents of the district have been dashed and as such, citizens are now constrained to back off from the entire electoral process and along the will of few to prevail.
He said the district will be poorly represented at the level of the National Legislature and the new lawmaker may not enjoy the trust and confidence of the people because, he or she may not be the choice of the majority.