NEC Orders Recount at Several Polling Precincts in Bong’s Fourth District

GBARNGA, Bong – The National Elections Commission has ordered a recount of votes at several polling precincts in Bong’s fourth electoral district.

The precincts include Shankpala Public School (Polling Places One, Two, and Three), Polling Places One and Two at the Nyensue Palava Hut, and Polling Place Two at the Kollieta Public School.

Others are Foequelleh Public School’s Polling Place One, Paye-ta Public School Polling Place Two, and Bellemue Public School’s Polling Place Three.

Following the October 10 polls, two of the candidates who contested the representative seat in that district, Susannah Mator of the United People’s Party, and incumbent Representative Lester Paye of the Alternative National Congress, filed separate complaints to NEC’s local office in upper Bong.

The two alleged that election workers took bribes from Unity Party’s candidate, Robert Womba, to increase the number of votes in his favor at certain polling places, a claim Womba has refuted.

Mator and Paye also said poll workers transported one of the ballot boxes on a motorcycle from Shankpala to Gbarnga instead of using the vehicle assigned to them by the commission.

Following hearings at the local NEC office in Gbarnga, Mator appealed for the case to be transferred to Monrovia for further investigations.

Daniel Newland, upper Bong’s National Elections Commission’s magistrate, confirmed NEC’s decision of a recount in an interview with a local radio station in the county.

“What I know of the finding now is that there will be a recount of seven precincts in electoral district four,” Newland told Radio Gbarnga.

The recount is scheduled for November 21, beginning 9:00 a.m. at NEC’s upper Bong office in Gbarnga.

The dispatch sent to NEC’s office in Gbarnga indicates that each party or candidate is to be represented by two persons or agents with accreditation cards from the National Elections Commission.

“Meanwhile, CSOs, local and international observers are also invited,” the dispatch read.

As announced by the National Elections Commission, Robert Womba of the Unity Party obtained 4,232 votes or 19.6 percent of the votes in the district, rendering him as the winner. Incumbent Representative Lester Paye got 3,471 votes or 16.1 percent, while Susannah Mator received 3,179 votes or 14.7 percent.

It is unclear what the result of the recount would mean for the overall result of the election in the fourth district, however, citizens are eager to hear the finding of the recount.

Featured photo by Moses Bailey

Moses Bailey

Moses started his journalism career in 2010 as a reporter at Radio Gbarnga. In 2011, the Press Union of Liberia recognized him as the Human Rights Reporter of the Year. In 2017, he was the Development Reporter of the Year. He is also an Internews Health Journalism Fellow. Moses is also the regional coordinator for NAYMOTE-Liberia, an organization working with youth to promote democratic governance.

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