Registered voters within Montserrado and Bong Counties will tomorrow, July 31st , go to the polls to elect senators in the by- elections created as result of the 2017 runoff presidential election won by former senators George Manneh Weah and Jewel Howard Taylor.
The Board of Commissioners of the Nationals Elections Commission qualifies 12 candidates for the by-elections, namely; incumbent Representative Josiah Marvin Cole of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, Fairnoh Theo Gbilah, Prince Togar Kollie, Dr. Henrique Flomo Tokpah, and Orando Koimene Zarwolo, for Bong County.
For the Montserrado County race the NEC qualifies Bernard Benson aka “DJ Blue”, Madam Josephine George Francis, incumbent Representative Saah Joseph of the Coalition for Democratic Change, Finley Karngar, Mark Augustine Keshen, incumbent Representative Yekeh Kolubah and Michael Doe Tipayson.
The Commission has completed recruitment of staff in various capacities for the by-elections. Seventy-Seven Civic Educators and Gender Mobilizers were recruited, trained and deployed across the two counties. Thirty-five are in Montserrado while 42 are deployed in Bong County, respectively.
NEC Chairman Jerome George Korkoya says the civic educators are mobilizing voters to turn out on July 31 and at the same time putting up reading materials such as posters, banners and flyers across the counties.
Seventy-Eight Data Center Staff were recruited to strengthen Data Center personnel. In addition to Data Center Staff, the NEC recruited 148 Electoral Supervisors and 12,956 polling staff, including Presiding officers, Voter Identification Officers, Ballot Paper Issuers, Inker/Ballot Box Controllers and Queue Controllers.
Electoral materials, including pre-packed kits and ballot papers procured outside the country arrived recently and are being deployed at various voting precincts across the two counties, according to Chairman Korkoya, who further disclosed there are 669 voting precincts and 2,292 polling places in both counties for the senatorial by-elections.
“Due to the critical role of the LNP towards the by-elections, we are calling on the LNP, Finance and Justice Ministries to ensure the presence of security at all polling places on Tuesday, July 31, 2018,” Korkoya concludes Meanwhile, President George Manneh Weah has by Proclamation declared tomorrow, Tuesday, July 31st, 2018, as By-Elections Day, and is to be observed as a holiday, affecting Bong and Montserrado Counties respectively in the Republic.The proclamation calls upon all citizens and foreign residents within the two counties to respect the holiday, accordingly.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne