Citizens of Nimba County District#8 may likely boycott the November 7 presidential run-off due to a delay by the National Elections Commission (NEC) to announce the result of the October 10 representative poll that was challenged by the district’s Unity Party (UP) incumbent lawmaker Larry P. Younquoi.
Younquoi challenged the result of the district election since October 16, outlining numerous irregularities during the exercise, a complaint that up to the present the NEC is yet to set a date for the hearing.
The protest result put candidate Saye Miane in the lead by 19 votes ahead of Younquoi, a result that it is believed to be far from the absolute majority of at least 50 votes for a candidate to seal a representative seat by the NEC.
Supporters of both Miane and Younquoi who have been in Monrovia for almost a week are running out of patience about the NEC’s attitude.
Many of them who spoke with the Daily Observer on condition of anonymity for fear of endangering the chances of their candidates, threatened to boycott the pending November 7 presidential run-off if their district is without a representative.
The presidential run-off is between VP Joseph N. Boakai of the UP and Senator George Manneh Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
When he announced the final result of votes cast, NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoya promised not to announce that district result pending the outcome of the hearing into Younquoi’s complaint.
Younquoi alleged that his complaint resulted from reports of irregularities his team observed at the Tallying Center in Tappita, “a situation that has the tendency to undermine my vote in the final analysis.”
For the record, the complaint claimed, “polling place 0103 in Barnakpala, and 0102, in Sehwee, among others, had numerous cases of erroneous figures on the tally sheet delivered to the Center.”
“For instance some figures from the invalid votes, as well as valid votes were left blank, thereby leaving the NEC workers with no alternative, but to determine the figures that could fill such gaps,” Younquoi claimed, adding, “at those centers and perhaps elsewhere ardent supporters of candidate Miane served as presiding officers, thereby giving strong suspicion of manipulation in the process.”
According to Younquoi, some of the presiding officers, including Preston Glay from Bainakpala, Ezekiel Tair from Sehwee and Ezekiel Zarwolo and Nathaniel Jaye of Zao respectively were strong supporters of candidates on both the social and Electronic Media.
The complaint further alleged that at one point, “Amos referred to me as a political zogo and Glay was openly seeing spearheading the transportation of registered voters from Montserrado County to the district on behalf of Miane during the voter registration process.”
Younquoi also claimed that during the counting of the votes huge numbers of invalid votes were reported mainly in what he considered as his “stronghold” where Miane’s partisans, the NEC workers were assigned,” the complaint alleged.
“The difference of 19 votes between us is not convincing enough to declare him a winner upon the first count in such fiercely contested election,” Younquoi indicated.
Therefore, the UP lawmaker argued, “The NEC should recount the entire votes emanating from the district in order to erase whatever doubts that we may harbor in the race.