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Liberia newsPolitics News

Counting still ongoing in Lofa, following Tuesday’s senatorial by-election

By Jonathan Browne

Vote-counting kicked off late Tuesday, June 28, 2022, after the by-election in Lofa County to fill a vacant seat created by the criminal conviction of Senator-Elect and former Defense Minister J. Brownie Samukai and others.

Mr. Samukai won the seat in the December 8, 2020, Special Senatorial Election, but was subsequently indicted on multiple charges, including theft and corruption along with two others while serving for misapplying soldiers’ pension money, totaling over US$ 1 million, while serving as minister of defense during the previous administration.  

A total of six (6) candidates, including five males and one female, participated in Tuesday’s polls that were marked by low turnouts in a county with 187,775 registered voters.  

The contestants are Momo Tarnuekollie Cyrus (M) Independent Candidate; Mariamu Beyan Fofana (F) Independent Candidate; Joseph Kpator Jallah (M) Independent; and George Beyan Samah (M) Independent Candidate, respectively. Others include Galakpai W. Kortimai (M) Unity Party, and Sumo G. Kupee (M) People’s Unification Party.

Voting took place in all five districts of the county namely; Foya, Kolahun, Voinjama, Zorzor and Quadu Gboni.

The race is tight between Galakpai W. Kortimai (M) of the Unity Party and a proxy candidate of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change Joseph Kpator Jallah (M) who contested as an Independent.

Two of the contestants in the race Mariamu Beyan Fofana (F) and George Beyan Samah (M) are sitting lawmakers from the House of Representatives, contesting as independent candidates.

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The by-election is clearly between the ruling CDC of President George Weah and the former ruling UP of former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, who is now in opposition.

Mr. Boakai has vowed to defeat President Weah at the ballot in 2023, and if his candidate wins the polls in Lofa, it could stamp his resolve to achieve this, but he lost to Mr. Weah in 2017.

The National Elections Commission is expected to begin announcing preliminary results later in the day.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/lofaians-go-to-the-polls-today/

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