Marketers selling on elections day at New Georgia Estate Market dispite a government proclamtion declaring Tuesday a public holiday in Montserrado County district#13 for the by-election
The leadership and members of the New Georgia Estate Market appear to have ignored and boycotted Tuesday’s by – election for Montserrado County District #13, as they went about their regular selling activities on Election Day, 20 November.
Sethi Brothers Inc. at Iron Factory also opened its business as usual, ignoring a government’s directive here, mandating businesses to remain closed on the day.
President George Manneh Weah declared Tuesday as Election Day for Montserrado County District #13 and Sione County for the conduct of a representative by-election in Montserrado and a senatorial by-election in Sinoe.
He urged the closure of businesses and offices for the conduct of the election, having declared Tuesday as holiday in the places named.
But campaigns were bloody in District #13 on 17 November during clashes between President Weah’s ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and supporters of an opposition candidate on the ticket of three parties – Unity Party, Liberty Party and Alternative National Congress.
The Market Ticket Collector at New Georgia Market Madam Decontee Gbualo told our reporter that their foremost priority was to make money, adding that individual marketers would decide to vote if the need be.She says during previous elections they were in the market while voting went on, and those who wanted to vote still voted.
For his part, a Lebanese merchant at Sethi Brothers branch at Iron Factory who refused to be identified, says he is aware of the holiday, but had to keep the business opened to serve customers.
Most of the voting precincts visited by this reporter had low turnout, even though there were few people standing in lines to cast their votes.
Some of them expressed disappointment that voting precincts were empty because voters remained at their respective homes.Meanwhile, our reporter observed heavy deployment of officers from the Liberia National Police (LNP) at the various voting precincts across Electoral District #13 to ensure that everyone voted freely.
Officers were deployed along with the police hot water tanker that was positioned right at the New Georgia Estate intersection.There was no report of violence at any of the voting precincts visited by this reporter.
By Emmanuel Mondaye–Edited by Winston W. Parley