As District 15 residents pledge support to Urey
As hearings into complaints of irregularities filed by opposition candidates in the District 15 by-elections scheduled to be held today at the headquarters of the National Elections Commission (NEC) appear set, residents of District 15 have pledged their unflinching support for Ms. Telia Urey in her challenge of the District by-elections results.
It can be recalled that the leading contender in District 15, Telia Urey, filed a complaint against what she said were irregularities that occurred at three polling sites in the District 15 elections. In one instance she complained that her representative at one of the polling sites was arrested on trumped-up charges and dragged away from the site, a development which, according to her, enabled fraudulent ballot stuffing.
In another instance, according to sources close to the leading candidate in District# 15, she reported what she called the illegal use of the “Addendum Roll” declared illegal by the Supreme Court in 2017. According to insider NEC sources, ballots boxes from those polling sites were ordered quarantined upon receipt of complaints of irregularities until the complaints had been looked into.
Surprisingly, however, according to sources, the manager of the NEC data center, Floyd Sayon had surreptitiously included the quarantined ballots in the vote count, a development which placed the CDC candidate Abu Kamara in the lead.
Later, however, according to sources following a tense meeting at the NEC, Floyd Sayon, when ordered by oversight Commissioner of the NEC Data Center, Commissioner Sam Joe, to remove the quarantined ballots from the vote count, he flatly refused. In further gross disobedience to Commissioner Sam Joe, Floyd is said to have maintained his stance arguing that removal of the quarantined vote from the results would tilt the balance in favor of opposition candidate Telia Urey who, until the first NEC announcement of results, had been leading in the polls.
The matter was however resolved, according to sources, but not without threats by some Commissioners to resign and make full public disclosure of reasons for their resignation. Sources also disclosed that CDC chairman Mulbah Morlu and a Grand Kru Representative paid impromptu visits to the NEC headquarters in hopes of swaying Commissioners into fixing the results as a face-saving measure for President Weah who had, days prior to the by-elections, told hundreds of his cheering supporters that the Ureys would never win any elections in Liberia as long as he was President.
The opposition victories in the just concluded by-elections, according to CDC insider sources (names withheld), have not only riled the CDC top hierarchy but is also producing strains to the point where open squabbles are said to have erupted between CDC Youth League Chairman Jefferson Koijee and Chairman proper, Mulbah Morlu with Koijee succeeding in having his men (City Police) forcibly expel Morlu from the CDC compound, according to insider CDC sources.
Meanwhile several calls including a text message sent to NEC information officer, Prince Dunbar, seeking information on who appears for hearings today went unanswered. But NEC sources say, aside from complaints filed by Ms. Urey, other opposition contenders had also filed complaints of irregularities, which may also be heard during today’s proceedings.
The Montserrado County District 15 leading contender Telia Urey, it can be recalled, had earlier told the Daily Observer that she would only accept a re-run of the elections and not a recount which, according to her, would include the stuffed ballots and those from the illegal “Addendum Rolls”.
In a related development, residents of District 15 have pledged their unflinching support for Ms. Urey’s candidacy, even if it requires several re-runs of the elections, according to Matenneh Kamara, a local market woman from the Logan Town market.
According to Kamara, although she has not benefitted directly from business assistance that Ms. Urey has been providing to local market women, she believes Urey is sincere and does not look greedy, noting that, “this girl will make Adolph Lawrence sleep fine in his grave.”
Meanwhile, Montserrado County Senator-elect, Darius Dillon has called on the Ministers of Finance and Education to work in concert to address the plight of stranded Liberian students in Morocco who had been publicly protesting before the Liberian Embassy in Rabat, the country’s capital.
Mr. Dillon said one of his first acts as Senator, when inducted, will be to further engage both Ministers on this matter. Mr. Dillon’s comments come in the wake of public concerns about the large sums of money being spent by the GoL through the Ministry of Internal Affairs to facilitate the transport of Muslim pilgrims to the annual Hajj Pilgrimage to the Islamic Holy City of Mecca. But sources close to the office of Internal Affairs Minister, Varney Sirleaf, said the money was provided by a donor from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).