Opposition, CDC Claim Victory Ahead of Official Results in Montserrado By-Elections

MONROVIA, Montserrado – Ahead of the National Elections Commission’s official pronouncements of the results from Montserrado’s joint legislative by-election, both President George Weah’s Coalition for Democratic Change and the four opposition collaborating political parties- Liberty Party, unity Party, All Liberia Party, and Alternative National Congress are claiming victory in the elections.

Both by-elections which took place on Monday were meant to fill the vacancies created in the legislature by the death of Montserrado’s Senator Geraldine Doe Sheriff and Representative Adolph Lawrence of the county’s 15th district.

While reported unofficial provisional results indicate a lead for Liberty Party’s Darius Dillon and All Liberia Party’s Telia Urey, who are both supported by the collaborating opposition political parties, the National Elections Commission or NEC which is the sole authority for announcing official election results in the country is yet to pronounce any official result.

NEC announced on Tuesday that it has begun the official tally of results, but will commence releasing preliminary results on Wednesday.

“Considering the late start of the tally of votes at the Headquarters of the Commission today, NEC, through its Board of Commissioners, will start releasing preliminary results on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. The media will be informed of the exact time,” it announced on Tuesday.

However, Liberty Party held a press conference on Tuesday morning ahead of NEC’s official vote tallying, where Dillon was referred to as “senator-elect.”

The party’s press conference was followed by an official statement from the collaborating opposition political parties congratulating both Dillon and Urey as senator-elect and representative-elect, respectively.

The parties congratulated Liberians for believing in democracy and exercising their rights to vote in the by-elections. The parties stressed the importance of citizens to continue to express their view through the ballot box as was done in Monday’s elections.

“The people of Montserrado have demonstrated their resolve and have restated their determination to reinstate good democracy, good governance, and the rule of law,” the statement read.

“Additionally, the collaborating political parties congratulate senator-elect Mr. Abraham Darius Dillon of the Liberty Party, and representative-elect Ms. Telia Urey of the ALP on their irreversibly resounding victory.”

The statement also disclosed that the results of the by-elections demonstrate the people of Liberia’s commitment to positive change and their desire for better governance and improved quality of life, and hope that the victories would serve as a precedent for all future elections.

Another senatorial candidate, Kimmie Weeks, already officially conceded to Dillon via his Facebook page. Some party stalwarts and officials of the government had also expressed fear that they had been defeated by the opposition.

However, CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu wrote a comment on his Facebook page also congratulating members and supporters of the party for delivering a double victory, by electing both of their candidates, Paulita Wie and Abu Kamara as the next Montserrado’s senator and the county’s fifteenth district representative, respectively.

“My profound gratitude to Mighty [CDCians] and the great people of Montserrado County for delivering a double victory as expected; based on unimpeachable facts, the CDC has again defied defeat! Paulita and Abu all the way, as Dillon and the Ureys can wait to try again. Amandla,” Morlu wrote.

While these claims are yet to be authenticated by NEC, Montserrado’s eighth district representative, Acarus Gray also posted on his Facebook page confirming that CDC’s choice of representative in the Montserrado’s fifteenth district by-election, Abu Kamara, won the election.

“Take it to the bank. It’s law and gospel. CDC has won D#15 commandingly and if not true I will resign my post,” Rep. Gray wrote.

Kamara also extended appreciation to citizens of the district and supporters, as well as members of the CDC for turning out in numbers to vote.

“Congratulations… Our people have spoken and given us their mandate! We will strive to reconcile it, guide it, develop it and keep it… Thanks for trusting me!” he also wrote.

He, however, promised to further address supporters following the pronouncements of results by the electoral commission.

With these claims, it is only the official pronouncement from NEC can authenticate.

Featured photo courtesy of National Elections Commission

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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