In keeping with the National Elections Commission’s (NEC) pronouncement for the commencement, on Thursday November 20, of political campaign activities for the special senatorial election, campaign activities began with poor activities in Gbarnga, Bong County.
Only the Congress for Democratic Change vehicle plied the streets of Gbarnga.
The special senatorial election, which was to be conducted on October 14, was delayed due to the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus disease that is claiming lives in the country.
With just barely three weeks to election, many residents in Gbarnga had anticipated crowded campaign activities in the politically charged county, with 13 senatorial candidates for the lone post.
Many of the residents, who spoke with the Daily Observer in Gbarnga on Thursday November 20, 2014 said they expected crowded campaign happenings owing to the fact of the limited time for campaigning and the crowded field of candidates in the county.
“I expected packed campaign events calculating the short period of time but I am confused with the poor start. This is a clear manifestation that there will be a poor turnout on December 16,” remarked Mr. David Kolliesuah, a student of Administration at the Cuttington University.
Another resident, Peter K. Menekermue, told this newspaper that in the 2011 general and presidential elections, there were more campaign activities in Gbarnga as compared to this special senatorial election.
Some of the residents, who spoke with this newspaper suggested that with the entrenched culture of Liberians for last minute rush, the candidates are waiting for the last week in the campaign to commence their activities; while others are attributing the poor start to the outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever in the country.
The residents also credited the poor commencement of the campaign activities in the county to the economic hardship confronting local residents as a result of the invasion of the Ebola virus disease in the country.
Investigation conducted by this newspaper established that with the presence of the disease in the county, it is expected that there will be a poor turnout on December 16 if the prevalence of the disease remains.
Currently, two communities in Bong County are quarantined as the result of the new outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in the county.