Ruling Coalition for Democratic Change defeated senatorial candidate, incumbent Gbapolu County District #1 Representative Alfred Koiwood, has finally bowed to Senator Botoe Kanneh, congratulating her on victory in the December 8, 2020 Special Senatorial Election.
The National Elections Commission on March 30, 2021, certificated Madam Kanneh as winner of the senatorial election in Gbarpolu, after months of legal battle.
Immediately after the NEC announced provisional result of the poll last December, Representative Koiwood had claimed fraud and other wide allegations first going before the NEC hearing officer and subsequently to the Supreme Court, but lost all complaints.
Speaking in an interview with reporters in Monrovia, he said development of the county could not be held back, as the interest of the people is more paramount than any individual.
According to him, the Supreme Court of Liberia is the final place for justice in Liberia, noting that there were other avenues available to him to have pursued his case but he decided let go on grounds that the interest of the people of Gbarpolu is bigger than his personal interest.
Rep. Koiwood lauded the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, his supporters, including his legal team for standing with him during the legal battle with Senator Kanneh.
The certification of Sen. Botoe Kanneh, a dried fish seller, was delayed after Koiwood claimed the poll was marred by fraud and violence allegedly instituted by Madam Kanneh’s supporters, a claimed dismissed by the National Elections Commission (NEC) and the Supreme Count of Liberia.
In its opinion, the Supreme Court of Liberia noted the continued failure of the Ministry of Justice to prosecute election offenders accordingly, poses a threat to the country’s peace and existence. The Court opined that action by the Ministry of Justice led by Cllr. Musa Dean to downplay cases of electoral violence predicts a grim future for Liberia’s democracy and its people.
“We fear that if election violence is not handled decisively now, future elections in our country will be disaster-prone,” the Court’s five Associate Justices wrote in a unanimous ruling relating to the Gbarpolu County electoral dispute case between then Senator-elect Botoe Kanneh (appellant), Coalition for Democratic Change (1st appellee) and the National Elections Commission (2nd appellate).
Meanwhile, Rep. Koiwood has disclosed plan to stage a peace and reconciliations tournament shortly in Gbarpolu County to unite supporters of all nine candidates that contested in the December 8, 2020 senatorial election in order to move the county forward.
He said it’s about time the legislative caucus of Gbarpolu welcomes Senator Kanneh for the common good of the people and the county.
In a related development, the incumbent lawmaker also expressed disappointment in teachers’ retirement process being initiated in Gbapolu by the Ministry of Education.
Recently, the Ministry retired more than 80 teachers in the county thus, forcing about twelve (12) schools in the county to shutdown due to lack of teachers in the classroom.
According him, the retirement process should have been done systematically instead of retiring teachers from the classroom and then launching recruitment exercise at the same time, something which he said created setback for students in the county.
Rep. Koiwood vowed to write the Minster of Education in finding solutions regarding those teachers who were retired from the classroom because of age, noting age for teachers in the country should be extended arguing that when teachers are in their old age, it is when they give all their time.
He said recruitment of young forks into the classroom should be guided by the old forks, based on their experiences from the classroom. Editing by Jonathan Browne