Senatorial Candidate Halts Campaign Rally amid Another Postponement of Montserrado’s By-Elections

MONROVIA, Montserrado – The campaign team of senatorial candidate Abraham Darius Dillon last week halted a major campaign rally earlier planned to take place on Friday, July 5.

The head of the campaign’s media team, Mohammed Ali, announced the postponement of the rally on Wednesday after the National Elections Commission ended a meeting with candidates and political parties.

“The new date [for the campaign rally] will be announced when the National Elections Commission announces the new date for the by-election in Montserrado,” Ali disclosed.

NEC confirmed the postponement of the Montserrado’s Senatorial and representative by-elections on Thursday, July 4. The elections are meant to fill the vacancies created in the legislature by the deaths of Sen. Geraldine Doe-Sheriff and Montserrado’s fifteenth district representative, Adolph Lawrence.

NEC disclosed in a statement that the by-elections earlier scheduled for July 8 were now postponed for a later date, yet to be announced, as pre-packed kits have not arrived into the country, thus making the by-elections impossible to be conducted as was scheduled.

The commission, however, announced that the full consignment of 1,046,100 ballot papers are currently in the country.

“The ballot papers, including tactile ballot guides, forms, and record of the counts, arrived over the weekend at the RIA and were received by authorities of the commission, along with the Liberia National Police, and taken to a secure location under LNP maximum protection,” it revealed.

“Of the total ballot papers, 993,850 will be used for the senatorial by-election, while 52,250 will be used for the representative by-election.”

The commission also disclosed that training of poll workers was ongoing at various locations in Montserrado.

This is the second time the Montserrado’s joint senatorial and representative by-elections have been postponed. The NEC had previously announced July 2 as the official date for the elections. The date was later changed to Monday, July 8. NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoya said the earlier postponement was due to limited time for the printing of pre-packed materials, including the ballot papers.

Dillon, however, said he is hopeful to win the senatorial seat despite the postponements.  “We shall win whenever it is held. Our people are resolved,” he noted.

Meanwhile, NEC has assured the public that it remains committed to conducting free, fair, transparent, and credible by-elections. It said the postponement was strictly on the basis of technical and operational reasons.

Featured photo by 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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