The national chairperson of the opposition Liberia National Union has alarmed that the December 8th Special Senatorial election was reportedly infiltrated by foreigners from neighboring Sierra Leone.
Speaking at a news conference in Monrovia over the weekend, Mr. Nathaniel Blama said Police Inspector General, Col. Patrick Sudue admitted on radio that 36 Sierra Leoneans were arrested with Liberian voters’ cards in Grand Cape Mount County. He said such assertion from well placed official of government is worrisome and troubling for Liberia’s young democracy.
Mr. Blama, a former government official, said it is terribly wrong for foreigners to intrude in the electoral process of the country, adding; Liberians are the ones to decide their leaders, not foreigners.He called on the government to promptly investigate the matter and make findings available to the public for timely actions to avoid a repeat of such ugly act.
The Liberia National Union says it will resist attempts by the National Elections Commission to conduct recount of ballots in contested polling precincts in Grand Kru County. Blama claimed the party has sufficient evidence to substantiate that seals of ballot boxes were broken and remarked ballot papers stuffed.
He said refusal by the NEC to conduct rerun as opposed to recount is troubling, and an attempt to steal genuine votes in favor of LINU Candidate Nathaniel N. Bahway.
“Let me sound this as a warning to the NEC. You’ve administered very peaceful elections. But any attempt to circumvent the will and aspirations of the people through their votes has the propensities to undermine the entire outcome of the Elections.” Blama stated.
Earlier, it was reported that an intense tussle between the National Elections Commission and LINU officials over whether or not votes should be recounted or a rerun conducted in district No. 2, Buluwin Town.
Blama told a news conference in Monrovia that suspicion of vote wracking in favor of CDC Candidate Dr. Peter Coleman, is a general perception of the opposition, including Independent Candidates that recently contested in the Grand Kru County, senatorial election. He go to the Board of Commissioners for further redress and thereafter, the Supreme Court, if there is no decision to have a re-run.
Voting is expected to take place shortly in three precincts namely: Boluwin Town, precinct No. 18029, Beloken Town Hall No. 18050 and WARKPO PUBLIC SCHOOL precinct No. 18024.
Blama lamented that NEC chairperson Cllr. Davidetta Browne Lansanah has vehemently rejected call by LINU for a rerun, citing legal provisions governing elections and lack of notice by NEC’s Grand Kru county Magistrate for a rerun. Currently, Mr. Nathaniel N. Bahway -LINU leads with 22.22 percent.
Furthermore, Blama stated that the opposition Liberia National Union is alarmed over vicious intimidation of some of its partisans in Grand Kru County, by officers of the Liberia National Police.
He said two of its members, including the party Grand Kru County Chairman, Samson Collins, and James Wheler, Party Representative, were arrested, intimidated and are now behind bars even after frantic efforts by Public defenders to seek their release from further detention failed. The pairs are accused of inciting violence which narrowly left the Barclayville City Hall burned, with windshield of a NEC vehicle smashed.
Information available to this paper says in Barclayville, members of the opposition bloc, including independent candidates have joined forces in calling for unconditional release of the poll results.
The NEC office in Barclay reported the insensitivity of the situation with protesters threatening to burn down the building, if the results are wrecked in favor of incumbent Senator Peter Coleman of the CDC.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor– Editing by Jonathan Browne