Hearings by the National Elections Commission (NEC) into complaints of alleged elections fraud and irregularities in the Montserrado County District #15 by-elections were on Wednesday, Just 7, 2019 held as scheduled, and had not ended up to press time last night as supporters of frontrunners, Telia Urey and Abu Kamara, remain glued to their radio sets, anxiously awaiting the outcome of yesterday’s proceedings.
Of the four candidates that contested the District# 15 by-elections two, in persons of Telia Urey, the lone female candidate and Bishop Slebo Frank filed complaints of irregularities and fraud in the just ended elections.
It can be recalled that, following the close of the polls and tallying of the results, NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoya had announced provisional results which, to the surprise of many who had been following the tallying results on radio, placed CDC candidate Abu Kamara in the lead by at least a thousand votes.
However, a subsequent announcement by the NEC Chairman saw Ms. Telia Urey somersaulting back into the lead a development which led to intense public speculations that something must have been amiss as the results (ball park figures) announced by the NEC Chairman did not correspond with tallying figures from each polling site broadcast on local radio stations.
Later, it was learnt that quarantined votes from ballots cast from three polling sites had been surreptitiously included in the tallying results by the manager of the NEC data center, Floyd Sayor.
According to sources, when it was discovered that it was Mr. Floyd Sayor who had unauthorizedly and illegally but surreptitiously included the quarantined votes in the tallying results, he was instructed by the NEC data center oversight Commissioner, Sam Joe to remove same but he(Floyd Sayor) flatly refused to do arguing that to have done so would have placed Ms. Urey back in the lead.
When the quarantined ballots were eventually removed from the tallying results, Ms. Urey regained the lead. But sources informed the Daily Observer that the decision taken to remove the quarantined ballots from the tallying results came after heated exchanges during which some Commissioners reportedly threatened to resign and publicly disclose reasons for their resignation.
As it appeared, according to insider NEC sources, most NEC Commissioners perhaps with the exception of its Chairman had remained fixed in their determination to play by the rules despite attempts by CDC Chairman Morlu and Grand Kru County Representative Fonati Koffa to sway their decision in favor of the CDC candidate, howbeit illegally.
In the final analysis according to sources, the quarantined ballots were removed and, the vote count changed almost immediately placing Ms. Urey back in the lead.
But by then, according to sources, Ms. Urey had already filed an initial complaint before NEC and on yesterday followed through with an amended complaint, this time around jointly with Bishop Slebo Frank, also a contender, about fraud and irregularities that occurred in the District# 15 elections. Here is the full text of their joint complaint: