KAKATA, Margibi – Preliminary results from the runoff election in Margibi put the Coalition for Democratic Change of Senator George Weah in a comfortable lead.
On Wednesday, the local office of the National Elections Commission began tallying ballots from across the five electoral districts of the county.
With 150 polling centers counted so far, Weah obtained 24,054 votes while the Unity Party of Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai received 12,606 votes, amounting to 65.6 percent and 34.4 percent, respectively.
Margibi, the sixth most populated county in Liberia, has 382 polling centers, meaning only 39 percent of polling centers are included in that result.
The results are not surprising as the Unity Party failed to get the majority of Margibians’ votes in the first round of the elections despite carrying the current House speaker and a son of the county, Rep. James Emmanuel Nuquay, as a running mate to Boakai.
Nuquay was a somewhat polarizing figure in Margibi politics and his selection brought up mixed responses from residents of the county.
His soured relationship with Rep. Ben Fofana of Margibi’s fourth district often made it difficult for the county’s legislative caucus to work in concert. Nuquay had campaigned against Fofana, endorsing the representative bid of Francis Cooper of the opposition People’s Unification Party, a party that Nuquay helped found after resigning from the ruling Unity Party.
Due to his poor performance in the first round of elections, Nuquay apologized to Margibians and promised to right his wrongs once elected as Liberia’s vice president.
This is the first time since 2005 that Unity Party has failed to gain majority votes in the county. In 2005 and 2011, Margibians overwhelmingly voted for the party’s standard bearer, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Featured photo by Aaron Nah