NEC Announces By-election Results for Sinoe and Montserrado

MONROVIA, Montserrado – The National Elections Commission has officially announced the results of the November 20 senatorial and representative by-elections for Sinoe and Montserrado’s 13th district, respectively.

According to a NEC release, the board of commissioners declared Augustine Chea of the Coalition for Democratic Change winner of Sinoe’s senatorial by-election and independent candidate Edward Papay Flomo as representative-elect for Montserrado’s 13th district.

The release disclosed that the announcement of Chea as senator-elect for Sinoe followed an investigation conducted by NEC’s team in Greenville after its system detected that the number of votes recorded at polling place #1 at Jarpuken Public School exceeded the number of registered voters reported there.

NEC’s Chairman Jerome Korkoya disclosed during a press conference held on Monday that following the detection of the anomaly, the polling place was immediately quarantined, pending the outcome of an investigation.

Korkoya said during an investigation that included a recount of the votes at the polling place, NEC workers saw that used ballot papers in the box did not exceed the total number of 377 registered voters. He said the presiding officer had simply recorded votes for candidates that were more than the actual votes obtained by them.

“That error was corrected immediately following the recount of votes,” he told journalists. He said Chea also won after receiving 5,839 votes or 35.17 percent of the total votes cast.

According to Korkoya, the Coalition for Liberia Progress has filed a 13-count complaint of electoral fraud and irregularities.

The commission had also announced last Friday that Edward Papay Flomo was the winner of the representative by-election in Montserrado’s 13th district.

According to the announced results, Flomo received 5,310 votes, constituting 34.4 percent of the total votes cast on Tuesday. He was followed by the Coalition for Democratic Change’s candidate, John Weah, who accumulated 4,879 votes, constituting 31.6 percent of the total votes. Unity Party’s Cornelia Kruah-Togbah took third place with 2,554 votes or 16.5 percent.

Before NEC’s pronouncement, the Unity Party representative candidate, Kruah-Togbah, who was also supported by the Alternative National Congress and Liberty Party, has conceded defeat and congratulated Flomo as the presumptive winner of the election.

Ahead of the polls, she had published a live video on Facebook saying that her campaign rally had been violently interrupted by members of the Coalition for Democratic Change, led by Monrovia’s Mayor Jefferson Koijee, causing several of her supporters to be physically wounded.

Liberty Party’s political leader and Grand Bassa senator, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, was also at the rally and directly accused the mayor of being involved in the act. But the Liberia National Police says it received no information linking Monrovia’s Mayor Jefferson Koijee to electoral violence and has not yet released its final report. The police also earlier denied reports of death during the violence.

Featured by Zeze Ballah

Gbatemah Senah

Gbatemah is a graduate of the University of Liberia and a recipient of the Jonathan P. Hicks Scholarship for Mass Communications. In 2017, Senah won three Press Union of Liberia awards: Women's Rights Reporter of the Year, Legislative Reporter of the Year, and Land Rights Reporter of the Year. In 2018, he was also recognized as the Land Rights Reporter of the Year.

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