…Cites ‘vote hiking’
The National Elections Commission (NEC) has with immediate effect quarantined Sinoe County Electoral District #2 precinct #1 polling place 39054 on an allegations of vote hiking.
NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya told journalists on Friday, November 23, that the Commission has quarantined polling place 39054 and ordered presiding officer Grace Dampson investigated at the nearby magisterial office in the county.
Korkoya said the incident occurred at Japukehn Public School in the district where 377 registered voters should have voted but, at the end of the polls, the record of the count from presiding officer Dampsen showed that 482 votes were cast at the polling center.
“As soon as that investigation is completed, we will announce the final results of the county’s senatorial by-election,” he assured.
Although he did not say when the Commission will complete its investigations into the hiking of votes at the Japukehn Public School, Korkoya said the public should continue to place its trust and confidence in the electoral body as it moves on with its work.
It may be recalled that the NEC on Thursday, November 22, announced preliminary results from 79 of the 136 polling places, with CDC candidate Augustine Chea taking an early lead.
Even though the Commission has said it is investigating the alleged vote hike at the polling place in Sinoe district #2, it has at the same time announced the exception to the Japukehn Public School’s polling place preliminary results from 56 polling places across the county.
Cllr. Korkoya announced that CDC candidate Augustine S. Chea maintains his lead with 5,806 votes or 36.2 percent while Romeo Thomas Quiah of the United People’s Party (UPP) trails with 4,772 or 29.7 percent.
Othello Doe Nagbe of the Coalition for Liberia’s Progress (CLP) has so far obtained 4,736 votes or 29.5 percent while Clark Wolloh Jabba of VOLT followed with 742 votes or 4.6 percent.
Korkoya said the total number of votes cast in the county is 16,677 and of that number 16,477 votes were valid votes while 421 votes were invalid.
He said the number of votes reported amounts to 99.26 percent of the total number of votes cast.
Cllr. Korkoya said the Coalition for Liberia Progress (CLP) has filed a complaint alleging that there were electoral fraud and irregularities that characterized the Senatorial By-elections in Sinoe County.
“The independent hearing office in Sinoe will probe the complaint and whatever the outcome from that exercise will be made public through the respective media outlets in the country,” he promised.
The ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has meanwhile lost the Representative by-elections in Montserrado District #13 to independent candidate Edward Papay Flomo, alias “Color Green.”
Even though there are claims that Flomo is originally a CDcian, his victory as an independent candidate after he was denied the CDC’s support during campaigns only demonstrated that CDC is gradually losing control over Montserrado County.