… Edith Gongloe-Weh alleges
Nimba County Senatorial Candidate Edith Gongloe-Weh has accused the National Elections Commission of manipulating elections results to favor of her political rival, Rep. Jeremiah Koung.
In her allegation, Gongloe-Weh, who contested as a candidate for the Collaborating Political Parties, explained that the vote tallying process has so far been conducted in a fraudulent manner to deprive her from winning the contest.
According to her, the current NEC results that place her rival ahead of her are unacceptable and unbelievable because she won districts, especially populated ones.
“It is sad that they are trying to overturn the election results. There is no way that the votes from Districts 4 and 5 can overturn my victory, when I have already won the Lower Nimba belt, which comprises of districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 and also two districts in the Upper Nimba belt,” Edith added.
The Upper Nimba belt, which has 5 districts, is a vote-rich battle ground, which usually decides who becomes the next senator of Nimba County. It was the votes from the Upper Nimba belt that seald the fate of Candidate Gongloe-Weh in 2011—an election that brought Senator Thomas Grupee to power.
Having joined her party to accuse the government and the electoral body of changing the results, she said she won District 1 (which includes Ganta) with over 5,000 votes, compared to her opponent, who had 3,000 votes.
The CPP candidate added that in District 2, she also won with another 5,000 votes, and in the lower Nimba belt combine, she won Rep. Koung with 19,179 votes, compared to his 10, 081 votes.
She noted that with the tally from the lower Nimba belt and three of the upper Nimba districts, including 1, 2, and 3, it puts her in the lead with over 10, 000 votes. Therefore, “it was impossible for Koung to win me with votes from districts 4 and 5,” she argued.
“With all of these votes I got, I can assure you that there is no way that we can lose this election and I want to urge everyone of you remain calm and avoid any form of violence as we pursue our case to gain over victory,” Gongloe-Weh said.
According to report from NEC, Rep. Jeremiah Koung is in a sharp lead with about 36,954, while Edith Gongloe-Weh has so far is in 32, 802, with 19 polling places still remaining.
Madam Gongloe-Weh added that her legal team has been alerted and is working to legally challenge the result for proper recount, especially in areas where she alleged fraudulent acts occurred.
“Nimba and the world know that the burden rests squarely on the shoulder of the Elections Commission to protect our democracy and to protect the stability of our country,” she said. “The election matters, the election in Nimba matters and the count of our votes in Nimba seriously matters.”
However, It is not clear how Madam Gongloe-Weh and team arrived at this allegation, but many have blame the her campaign team of not doing enough in Upper Nimba, thinking that the votes there would have been divided among the other contenders who are Gio. Instead, her team directed their attention to the south, which is predominately Mano.
Despite the wrangling in the streets among supporters of the two rivals, Nimba is very calm, with people going about their normal activities as usual and waiting to hear the final result.
Early Tuesday, December 15, the CPP at the Press Conference alleged that the they have enough evidence to substantiate their claims, such as tally sheets that were manipulated at the tallying centers in favor of Rep. Jeremiah Koung of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction, who is supported by the ruling CDC in the Nimba race.
According to the CPP, some of their evidence include the broken seals on ballot boxes and the swapping of another candidate’s vote, among a host of irregularities.
But the electoral body — the National Election Commission has dismissed the allegations as baseless and false. Responding to the CPP, the NEC’s Communication Director Henry Flomo said the allegation leveled against the electoral body by the CPP is not true and is a diabolical lie.
“At NEC, we are so shocked about the CPP’s allegation, but the truth of the matter is, this election was conducted free and fair. NEC has no interest in any candidates but to announce the result just the way the people voted with no changes,” Flomo said.
He said, “If the CPP has a problem, let them challenge the results and stop accusing us falsely. The results we are announcing are exactly what is on the tally sheet, which they have in their possession.”