-Telia Urey tells supporters as she wraps up campaign
Well-wishers and supporters of Telia J. Urey, an opposition candidate in the Montserrado District #15 by-election on Tuesday, August 27, 2019, stood amazed when they heard her admonish them to be non-violent as they proceed to cast their votes today (August 28). She added one more thing: that they should vote according to the direction their hearts lead.
“Vote for whoever your heat tells you to vote, and let us move our district forward; let us move our country forward,” she told the electorates of District #15, who are to cast their votes in a miniscule rerun election. The rerun election will take place at the centers recently quarantined by the National Elections Commission (NEC), on account of the director of the Commission data center compromising the integrity of the electoral system.
Some residents, who listened to Telia’s call, said it was unprecedented in the typical Liberian politics wherein rivals speak so much ill of their opponents.
They cited a case in which President George Weah, who at the campaign rally of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in Congo Town, warned his supporters of voting into office Abraham Darius Dillon of the Liberty Party (LP) and Telia Urey of All Liberian Party (ALP), both whom were endorsed by the leadership of the four opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).
Dillon, however, has already won the Senatorial by-election for Montserrado County and has since been certificated and inducted into office, replacing the late Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif.
Telia Urey, on the other hand, is one of the registered candidates of Montserrado District #15 Representative by-election. She was in the race with six other contenders, including her closest contender, Abu Bana Kamara of the CDC. However, during the election on July 29, her campaign team filed a complaint to NEC’s Election Dispute Office on counts of “irregularities and frauds.”
After the NEC hearing office looked into her complaint, it declared a rerun at all of the 20 polling places earlier quarantined, for which she and Kamara will today face each other at those 20 polling centers to fill the vacant seat created in the legislature by the death of Representative Adolph Akwe Lwarence.
Rep. Lwarence died in a tragic motor accident along the Monrovia/Harbel highway, while returning from celebrating his 50th birth anniversary in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
Telia Urey praised the NEC for living up to its promise of making available the voter roll, and allowing the presence of a voter identification person at all of the polling places where the rerun is being ordered.
“We are going through the voter roll, and it is our prayer that it is not different from the 2017 voter roll,” she told her supporters, many of them cheering at the count of her voice.
Ms. Urey also praised officers of the Liberian National Police (LNP) for “exhibiting a more nationalistic attitude by providing security for her campaign team, as well as that of Abu Kamara.”
She promised to continue contributing to the education of many students, who have been benefiting from the late Adolph Lawrence scholarship program.
“Today (yesterday, August 27), we are not campaigning, but moving around the district to help identify all those students, who need the education fund the late Rep. Lawrence used to help. We are here to continue and, as time goes by, we will even do more,” she said.
Urey called on her opponent and his supporters to keep away from misleading the public that she is not a resident of District #15.
“That argument is no longer useful, because I have been living in this district for many years now. I live in Caldwell and I am accessible to my people in this district,” she said, adding that people should put the interest of the district ahead of personal interest.
“We are one people, and getting our district forward in development should be our focus. If a CDCian wins, he will be lawmaker for all of us; and if I win, I will a lawmaker for everyone, including CDCians living in this district. Therefore, let us keep the peace,” she admonished.
Ms. Urey said further that the people of District #15 have to live together in harmony like brothers and sisters and make sure they focus on what is more important.
For Abu Kamara, he also called on his supporters to be peaceful as they go out today to cast their votes at the 20 polling places.
“I am happy that the district is calm; that the people’s growing appetite to vote in the best person to replace the late Adolph Lawrence is about to be satisfied,” Kamara said in an earlier interview with journalists at his residence.
Kamara told journalists that he has availed LS$20 million for the residents to improve their livelihoods.
“I am giving out money to people so they can do their small businesses and improve their lives. I don’t want any pay back. They are people and it is because of them I have worked so hard over the years,” he said.
“This is something I have been doing since 2007. It is not about them voting me into office. I want to give back to the community, because I too have been a very poor person,” he said.
Mr. Kamara: “I am a due-paying member of the CDC, and I love the Pro-poor agenda of President Weah. It is about lifting the poor people from poverty and so, I am in to help do just that. I don’t want anything else from the CDC or the President, but doing what is right to help improve the lives of our people,” he said.