Independent candidate Numene T. H. Bartekwa has garnered 3,525 votes and is narrowly in the lead with 226 votes ahead of incumbent Grand Kru County Senator Dr. Peter Sonpon Coleman of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) who is seeking re-election in a relatively peaceful election void of violence.
If the former Grand Kru County District #2 sustains this lead, the CDC will lose the home county of President George M. Weah.
Last night reports from six polling centers compelled Bartekwa to overtake the incumbent Grand Kru County Senator who was earlier and narrowly ahead with 311 votes difference.
The poll of voters according to the provisional results released Wednesday night shows that out of 92% of the Voting Precincts in the county, Bartekwa accumulated 3,523 votes, followed very closely by Sen. Coleman with 3,297 votes.
Bartekwa was a member of the Unity Party (UP) but resigned after he lost to Liberty Party candidate Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa in the 2017 election. Both men resigned from their respective parties and joined the CDC.
But Bartekwa again resigned from the CDC after he lost in the primary to Sen. Coleman. He accused the CDC of manipulating and staging the primary which caused his defeat.
Trailing are LINU candidate, Rep. Nathaniel Zoe Barway with 2,026 and independent candidate, Dr. Alfred Toe Segbe, with 1,682.
Meanwhile, according to the CDC wall room in Barclayville headed by Matthew Wisseh, the ruling party is confident that the swing tally will put Sen. Coleman in a maintained lead, and according to their projection, Sen. Coleman will win by 415 votes.
Accordingly, the CDC war room statistics is well within the poll’s 3.5-point margin of error for likely voters.
Wisseh earlier posted before the latest results: “Sen. Peter Coleman of the CDC is in the commanding lead in Grand Kru County. Thanks to Hon. Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa and team,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
But while the poll shows a close race between Bartekwa and Sen. Coleman, support among self-proclaimed Coleman supporters is stronger than support for either Bartekwa’s and Segbe’s supporters.
Meanwhile, the remaining 8% of the precincts are expected to be in by tomorrow.
It may be recalled that in an effort to promote peaceful election in Grand Kru County void of violence — mainly destruction of properties, as well as the instigation of hate, invectives and divisions in the county during and after the electoral process, the campaign chairman of the ruling Congress of Democratic Change (CDC) met two of the opposition frontrunners on Friday.
Cllr. Koffa, in separate meetings with Senatorial candidates including Numene T.H. Bartekwa and Dr. Alfred Toe Segbe separately on the same day, said he urged his candidate, Dr. Peter Sonpon Coleman, and supporters to refrain from making any divisive and hate speeches and promote the values of peace and social cohesion during the electoral process.
A staff to Rep. Koffa, who asked not to be named, said the campaign manager indicated that the county is the “common denominator” and everyone should uphold the peace.
Former Representative, Bartekwa and Dr. Segbe, accordingly, committed themselves to peaceful election.
The CDC Grand Kru County Campaign chairman furthered that the media should always lead in the promotion of peaceful electoral processes.
Both rivals and opposition in the Grand Kru Senatorial race are running as independent while the main contender and incumbent, Dr. Coleman is on the CDC ticket.