-Sinoe official preliminary results puts CDC candidate ahead of rivals
Barely a year into its stewardship, the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has displayed signs of weakness at the polls in the just ended Representative By-Elections in Montserrado County, which suggests that the coalition is gradually losing grip of the county said to have been its stronghold for more than 12 years.
The Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya yesterday announced at the Commission’s press conference in Monrovia that independent candidate Edward Papay Flomo, Jr., known popularly as ‘Color Green’, has obtained 5,310 votes, which is 34.4 percent making him Representative-elect for Montserrado County District #13, succeeding former Representative, Saah Hardy Joseph.
“By the power vested in me, and acting on behalf of the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission, and based on the results just announced, I hereby declare Mr. Edward Papay Flomo, Jr. as the winner of Montserrado District #13 Representative By-elections,” Korkoya said.
The James Fromayan Conference Hall which, in 2005, 2011 and 2017 had hosted jubilant CDcians, who won Legislative seats was, yesterday, was a virtual ghost camp marked by the absence of battle cries and songs of victory.
Korkoya reported that all of the 89 polling places in Montserrado Dist. #13 have reported and all the results were tallied according to the Commission’s procedures.
He said 15,451 of the registered voters cast their votes and, of that number, 183 votes were invalid.
Korkoya said CDC’s John J. Weah obtained 4,878 or 31.6 percent of the total vote and, as such, he came close but yet too far from Edward Flomo who has now become the official face of the people of District #13 at the House of Representatives.
Eleven other candidates, including Cornelia Kruah-Togba, daughter of Post and Telecommunications Minister Cllr. Cooper Kruah, who contested on the ticket of the former ruling Unity Party (UP), as well as Journalist O’neal Roberts of Truth FM, also contested for the vacant seat.
In the Sinoe County Senatorial By-Elections, Korkoya announced that 79 of the 136 polling places constituting 58.09 percent have reported and those results have already been tallied.
“In Sinoe 11,428 persons turned out and voted. There were 136 polling places but 79 of those polling places have reported and tallied,” he said.
According to results from the 79 polling places counted so far, Augustine Chea of the CDC obtained 4,106 votes or 36.8 percent while Romeo Thomas Quiah of United People’s Party (UPP) obtained 3,568 votes or 32.0 percent.
Others are Morlu Clark Jabba of VOLT, with 497 votes or 4.5 percent and Othello Doe Nagbe CLP, with 2,980 votes, 26.7 percent, so far.
Korkoya said 11,151 votes were registered as valid votes while 277 are invalid votes, thereby bringing the total number of votes to 11,420.
Complaints in Montserrado Dist. #13 Rep. By-Election
The NEC chairman said two complaints have so far reached the desk of the Commission. He said the two complaints are from Montserrado County District #13.
“The First complaint is against Senator Saah Joseph. The complainant is Alhaji Sekou Massaley, a resident of Chocolate City. The complainant alleged Election offenses, including intimidation, threatening of voters, etc. by Senator Joseph and his followers during the election period,” Korkoya said.
He noted that the second complaint came from another resident of the District, Coel Kabba, who alleged that one of the NEC’s presiding officers at voting precinct 30209, polling place #2 was found giving food to CDC agents.
Korkoya said the NEC’s Independent Hearing Office will look into the matters. He said no complaint has yet come from Sinoe.
He, meanwhile, expressed the Commission’s thanks and appreciation to the government for doing all it was required to do in order to ensure that the elections were held.
He also appreciated the media for informing the public at all times on elections, the joint election security for ably providing protection for NEC temporary staff, the voters, local and international observers and every other person who visited any of the polling places.
The CDC is now on record for losing two elections in the first year of the Weah administration, with one being the August 31 Senatorial By-Election in Bong County to Dr. Henrique Flomo Tokpa. According to political observers, the just concluded by-elections could very well be a dress rehearsal for 2023 which could see the CDC suffering a massive defeat at the polls should the economy continue to remain in free fall or deteriorate further.
According to the observers, disenchantment amongst the nation’s youths, most of who are unemployed, is growing by the day. And if results of the just concluded by-elections in Montserrado, District 13 are anything to go by, then it could be safely conjectured that the CDC could suffer massive defeat at the polls come 2023, if the economic fortunes of the people, particularly the youths remain unchanged.