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6 candidates cry foul in Maryland County

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Six candidates from the senatorial race in Maryland Country have filed a complaint to the National Elections Commission, alleging the poll was marred by fraud.

The complainants are incumbent Senator H. Dan Morias, an Independent Candidate; Eric Wlea Giko of the Collaborating Political Party (CPP), John A. Ballout, a Independent Candidate; Dr. E. Wollor Topor, Rainbow Alliance; Richard Emmanuel Wilbert Yancy, Independent Candidate, and William Philip Anderson, Independent Candidate, respectively.

Speaking to this paper Friday, December 11, 2020, spokesperson for the group of candidates, John A. Ballout commended citizens for being peaceful during the poll.

He noted that as aggrieve candidates, they have met and discussed the alleged electoral malpractice and addressed local media in Harper District, Maryland County.

Mr. Ballout, a former senator and chairperson for the aggrieve candidates noted that during their first meeting, they wrote a formal complaint to the National Elections Commission office in Maryland County, outlining alleged fraud and other irregularities observed during the poll.

However, he said the Election Magistrate in the county didn’t accorded them any redress and went ahead to break seals on the ballot boxes, carrying on final counting and tailing of ballot papers without a single representative from each of them as aggrieved party that has filed a formal complaint except a representative of CDC candidate James Biney, who was present.

He noted that such action from the Election Magistrate is a abuse of power and trust reposed on NEC by the people, stressing that the Commission is the body that should bring on the table the highest degree credibility, neutrality, integrity and honorability to portray the true aspirations of voters.

Ballout added that it’s what democracy calls for, and they as aggrieved candidates, want that to be done.

“So today we all have been informed about what is going on in the entire county and country about elections and what we have said yesterday, and we want to reiterate that we have complained, taken the advantage of the legal process that is contained in our Constitution’s and Electoral System; we have complained to NEC and of course, the same complaint continue to happen.

We asked NEC for redress and on the same breath that we have asked NEC for redress, the Magistrate who has just being assigned in the County a day prior to the conduct of the Election, upon receipt of our complaint, said he disagreed with all claims of election fraud without any investigation of the matter”, he said.

Ballot continued, “Today we have moved one step further in engaging other partners in seeking attention of the public about attitude of the Magistrate during and after the just ended December 8 Election. As we speak, two of our members of this group, Senator H. Dan Morias who has earlier written NEC, has been invited to NEC for investigation”, he added.

“We are going there to make one thing clear, we are going to take advantage of what is before us and at the sametime mention the lack of trust and confidence in the system and Leadership of NEC Magistrate in the County”, he concluded.

Dr. Wollor E. Topor of the aggrieved candidates mentioned that though they are being seem as enemies of the State, their objective of coming together is to engage the National Elections Commission in order for justice to be served.

Dr. Topor continued that since the preliminary results were announced, citizens of the county have been feeling bad and downhearted because they know that the results weren’t the way they expected due to their votes cast. “Look, can you imagine some boxes are still out and Election Magistrate began counting ballots at his office?” He asked.

William Philip Anderson, an independent candidate and member of aggrieved candidates said, the National Elections Commission has allegedly conducted a fraudulent election based on the results and evidence gathered, arguing that in as much as the National Elections Commission Magistrate will carry out counting and tallying without informing the senatorial candidates despite their complaint filled, it has justified his incredibility and unfairness.

“We want justice and fairness in this Country and that can be done if we as citizens stand strong in making sure that things are done properly.”

CPP candidate Eric Wlea Giko, said in as much as they have agreed to come together in order to coexist for one purpose, it tells the seriousness of the matter in question.

“Let me say, we will accept the results if provided the legal process is done but as long we are seeking the legal and logical conclusion and we are not accorded proper redress, it is difficult to understand the fairness that was done.”

For his part, incumbent Senator H. Dan Morias lauded the group members and stressed that those who may see their actions as losers and lazy need to be aware that they are not fighting a lazy and losing battle.

“We have all evidence of some deplicated cards in our possession that were distributed by some individuals of the CDC candidate to kids that haven’t reached voting ages; we also noticed during the voting date, NEC Polling Staff were caught and detained by the Liberia National Police for issuing three ballot papers to an individual to vote in East Harper; we also noticed NEC Polling Staff telling citizens to vote Number three that which is CDC candidate; we also noticed that results were missed calculated, others were calculated in CDC candidate’s favor, among others”, he explained.

The six aggrieved candidates however called on their supporters to remain calm as they engage government to prevail on NEC to halt the preliminary results in Maryland, pending full investigation.

The NEC magistrate in Maryland was not accessible for comment on these allegations.

By Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland County –Editing by Jonathan Browne

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