NEC Final Ruling Favors CPP’s Simeon Taylor – Winner Calls for Reconciliation; As Violence Engulfs Porkpa District’s Mano River Kongo
After several months of legal wrangling which accordingly ran afoul of Constitutional provisions, the National Elections Commission (NEC) on July 2, 2021 made its final determination, granting victory to opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) candidate Simeon Boima Taylor over the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) candidate Victor Watson. The pronouncement by NEC, though long-awaited, is being hailed by cross-section of Cape Mountainians in general and the winner Simeon Taylor who in a post-victory chat with The Analyst called for calm, promising that reconciliation of the peoples of the five districts of Grand Cape Mount County is his immediate priority. Surprisingly however, a few hours after the NEC announcement on Friday, reports of violent clashes have emerged between supporters of defeated candidate Victor Watson and Senator-elect Simeon Taylor, The Analyst reports.
Speaking with this paper immediately after NEC had announced him winner of the December 8, 2020 midterm senatorial elections, the Senator-elect of Grand Cape Mount County, Mr. Simeon, said the NEC final ruling is a victory for all the people of Grand Cape Mount County.
“I want to give thanks to God first for giving me the strength and the courage to withstand all of the tensions that were associated with the legal process. My own reaction is that everybody has won. I am calling on all citizens and residents of Grand Cape Mount County to remain calm and peaceful and give God the glory,” Mr. Taylor averred, noting that although there are many integrity institutions in this country, the NEC has proven itself exemplary.
“The National Elections Commissions has just proven itself worthy of the public trust as an integrity institution. In this regard, I want to say a big thanks to NEC. It may have appeared as if they were delayed but the legal proceedings had to go on. At this point, Honorable Watson should clearly understand that he was defeated after over seven months of investigation. The delayed process caused the people of Cape Mount to wonder why they were being deprived of their right to representation after the people had expressed their choice of leadership. Of course, the majority of Cape Mountainians were not happy,” Taylor stated emphatically.
A Call for Reconciliation!
The Grand Cape Mount County Senator-elect immediately called on the people of the county to remain calm in the face of the NEC declaration.
“This victory is for all of the people of Grand Cape Mount County; it is not a victory for me. I will be representing the people of Porkpa District, Garwula, Tewor, Gola Konneh and the Commonwealth. I am therefore calling on everyone to remain calm and peaceful so we can work to move Cape Mount forward. We will not achieve anything if we continue to fight one another, disrespect one another, and hold grudges against one another due to the elections. Grand Cape Mount County has won. Let us remain peaceful and work together so that we can move ahead with development,” Mr. Taylor pleaded.
Quizzed on what would be his reaction if the losing team offered their support to his administration, the Senator-elect magnanimously extended an olive branch to his opponent, out-going senator Victor Watson.
“I am willing to work with Victor Watson or any other person from his camp who has ideas to move our beloved county forward. My primary objective is to reconcile the county; therefore, I am prepared to incorporate all well-meaning citizens and residents of Cape Mount for us to work together. In this regard, I am calling on all Cape Mountainians to forgive one another,” Mr. Watson said.
Mr. Sando Wayne of the United People’s Party participated in the 2020 midterm senatorial elections for the Grand Cape Mount County seat and lost to Simeon Taylor who was declared winner after ballots were tallied in December 2020. Having thrown his support behind Mr. Taylor following the elections and throughout the legal proceedings, an elated Sando Wayne informed this medium about his excitement over the NEC ruling, which he said was expected anyway.
Citing Article 83 (c) of the Liberian Constitution as his legal reliance, Mr. Wayne said he regretted the fact that the legal hearings ran afoul of the constitution. “But we are elated today that justice was served in favor of Mr. Simeon Taylor,” Wayne enthused, cautioning however, the citizens of Grand Cape Mount County to exercise restraint and work with their new senator.
“Grand Cape Mount County needs you desperately to make a change. Now is your time after the long struggles. Go and serve with integrity, my senator,” stated Alfred B. Wisner, Sr.
Despite the euphoria that followed news of the NEC final ruling that declared Simeon Taylor as winner of the long-running legal wrangling, however, reports emerged Friday from one of Victor Watson’s Porkpa District strongholds, Mano River Kongo, where supporters of defeated candidate Victor Watson, allegedly acting on the orders of Sierra Leonean businessman Idrissa “Bomber” Mansaray, launched vicious attacks on supporters of Simeon Taylor, leaving many wounded in the melee.
“We don’t know what the situation will be like tomorrow, but we are right now living in fear. Don’t be surprised to hear tomorrow morning that some people are killed by Idrissa’s men,” a shaken resident of Mano River Kongo told this paper from her Porkpa District hometown.
“Based on intel, this is exactly what we predicted hours before the NEC made its pronouncement. We called on the Government to beef up security in Porkpa District, but our advice fell on rocky soil. Now, the poor innocent citizens are bearing the brunt of violence just because some power-greedy individuals want to bypass the Constitution. This is what pushed our country down the slippery path of anarchy for 14 plus years,” lamented Mr. Sando Wayne, upon hearing of the violence in Mano River Kongo.
All efforts to contact defeated candidate Victor Watson to verify allegations of his sanctioning the Friday, July 2, 2021 violence in Mano River Kongo proved futile as he could not be reached up to press time.
Meanwhile, updates will be provided about the situation in Porkpa District.