GBARNGA, Bong – The National Elections Commission has declared Henrique Tokpa, an independent candidate, as the winner of the July 31 senatorial by-election in Bong.
With a total of 60,463 votes counted from all 502 polling places in Bong, the NEC said Tokpa received 27,806 votes (47.0 percent), followed by Marvin Cole of the Coalition for Democratic Change, with 20,982 votes (35.4 percent).
Fairnoh Gbilah of the Vision for Liberia Transformation Party accrued 5,556 votes (9.4 percent), Prince Kollie of the United People’s Party secured 1,346 (2.3 percent) and All Liberian Part’s Orlando Zarwolo accumulated 3,504 votes (5.9 percent).
Valid votes amounted to 59,194, while invalid votes totaled 1,269, according to NEC.
“Based on the results just read and in keeping with section 2.9 of the New Elections Law of Liberia, I, on behalf of the board of commissioners of the National Elections Commission, do hereby declare Dr. Henrique Flomo Tokpa as the winner of the July 31 senatorial by-election in Bong County,” said Jerome Korkoya, NEC’s chairman.
The result shows that there was a low turnout in the by-election in Bong; the county had registered 208,123 voters for the 2017 elections.
Tokpa’s main contender in the election, Cole, has conceded defeat and called on other citizens to recognize Tokpa as the victor.
“The supporters of the five of us that contested in this election, I want you to know that the election is over; the only child we have is Bong County,” Cole told a press conference in Gbarnga Thursday.
He wants citizens of the county to avoid provoking and agitating losers in the election.
Cole thanked his supporters for braving the storm and campaigning for him across the county even though he didn’t win.
Similarly, the three other candidates, Fairnoh Gbilah, Orando Zarwolo, and Prince Kollie have all conceded and congratulated Tokpa on his election.
Tokpa, a former president of Cuttington University and former minister of internal affairs, contested for senator in Bong in 2014 but was defeated by Jewel Howard-Taylor.
With a divided Bong Legislative Caucus and local county leaders, Tokpa now faces the challenge of uniting members of the caucus and local leaders if development is to be actualized in Bong.
His election closes the vacuum created as a result of the election of Howard-Taylor as vice president of Liberia in the 2017 elections.
Featured photo by Moses Bailey