Smith Maintains Victory in Rivercess Ballot Recount

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Wellington Geevon Smith, Independent candidate in the December 8, 2020 Senatorial election

— But his main opponent, Steve Tequah, still rejects results

Wellington Geevon Smith, an independent candidate in the December 8 Special Senatorial Election, has again been announced the winner of the polls in Rivercess County after a recount was recently done in the county due to a protest filed by his main rival, Steve Tequah, who also contested as an independent candidate.

After the recount, Smith obtained 3,302 votes or 23.3 percent, while Tequah obtained 3,248 votes or 23.0 percent. With the recount, Tequah has again rejected the result due to what he referred to as ‘inconsistency’ that continues to show up in the counting process of the votes cast by the electorates on December 8, 2020.

Candidate Tequah, after the December 8 polls, complained to the National Elections Commission (NEC) that there were irregularities and suspected fraud and, as such, there was no need to have declared Smith, his opponent, as a winner in the election.

The NEC, having heard Tequah’s complaint along with evidence submitted, called for a recount, which was done recently, but Smith still emerged as the winner after obtaining 54 more votes against his rival, Tequah.

The recount is said to have been done in the presence of agents of the candidates, Smith and Tequah, the media and other parties including agents of political parties that contested the polls.

Incumbent Senator Dallas Gueh, who contested on the ticket of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), obtained 2,056 votes or 15.2 percent.

Geevon Smith is Rivercess County’s former Superintendent and a veteran media practitioner who also served as Assistant Minister of Information in the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Administration.

When contacted, Senator-elect Wellington Geevon Smith said he respects the decision of the National Elections Commission and, as such, he will react based on what the Commission would say.

“My opponent said he had a problem with seven polling centers and a recount, based on NEC’s decision, was held. I again won as I won on December 8, but my opponent is still crying foul. He is even calling on the Commission to conduct a recount across the entire county. It is so sad for our democracy but as I said, we look up to NEC,” Smith said.

NEC’s Public Affairs Department has meanwhile confirmed to the Daily Observer that Steve Tequah, Smith’s main political rival, did in fact take exception to the results from the recount and filed yet another complaint, calling on the Commission to investigate further.

Prince Dunbar, one of NEC’s Public Affairs staff, said the Commission’s hearing office is expected to look into the complaints to advise on the way forward.

“As you know, they will be listened to. Whoever has a concern is usually asked to produce evidence and it will be on the basis of facts [that] the hearing office will look into the case. Whoever is not satisfied has the right under the law to take an appeal to the Supreme Court, should they object to the final ruling of the board of Commissioners (BOC) of NEC,” Dunbar said.

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