The National Elections Commission (NEC) yesterday announced Francis Sackila Nyumalin, Sr. winner of the representative by-elections held in Lofa County Electoral District 1.
Mr. Nyumalin contested on the ticket of the Union of Liberia Democrats (ULD) and came out first among others with 32.0% which represents 3,149 votes while his closest opponent, Mr. William Kamba emerged with 30.5%, which represents 2,996 votes.
Addressing the media during a press conference at the Commission’s headquarters in Monrovia, NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome Korkoyah said Mr. Kamba, candidate of MOVEE, forwarded a complaint to his political party, stating that there were frauds that might have led to the huge number of invalid votes reported by the NEC staff in an area said to be his stronghold.
Though he did not say what the frauds were, the NEC Chair noted that said complaint was formally filed to his office.
“The MOVEE complaint has reached our office and it is because of it we have decided to put on hold the certification of the winner. We need to look into it and, after substantiating truths or falsehoods through appropriate investigations, we will submit the winner to the public for official service,” Cllr. Korkoyah noted.
“There were 9 candidates that contested the Representative By-election in Lofa County District #1 and of this number, one candidate; a female in particular ran as independent,” he said.
A total of 10,603 of over 30,000 voters participated in the process and of this number, 771 votes were recorded as invalid.
Cllr. Korkoyah commended his co-chair, Cllr. Sarah J. Toe, who headed the NEC delegation to Lofa that conducted the by-elections as well as the electorates who peacefully conducted themselves while participating in the process.
In another development, the NEC boss said the two temporary NEC staffs that were implicated in the VR fraud, involving Mr. Amos Seibo, an employee of the Ministry of State, have been relieved of their jobs and are expected to undergo persecution for their alleged dubious roles recently.
“The LNP reported a number of NEC equipment and materials retrieved from a private home used by those suspects who attempted to circumvent the VR process in the Johnsonville vicinity. The NEC is grateful to the LNP for effectuating the arrest of those involved in the scandal,” he said.
Police arrested Mr. Seibo, his wife and two NEC temporary staff on February 26 after they were caught at his (Seibo’s) residence in Johnsonville with an unspecified number of election materials as they were conducting their own VR exercise and are now at the Monrovia Central Prison.