By Jonathan Browne
Though the National Elections Commission is yet to officially announce results of Tuesday’s senatorial by-election in Lofa County, reports from the county say both the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change of President George Weah and the opposition Unity Party of ex-Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai are calming victory, mobilizing their respective supporters for celebrations.
The Chairperson of NEC, Davidetta Browne-Lasanah, speaking from Lofa via mobile phone to OK FM in Monrovia Wednesday, June 29, 2022, commended voters across the county for coming out and exercising their democratic right at the polls.
A total of six (6) candidates, including five males and one female, participated in Tuesday’s polls but tallied results posted in polling places across the county seem to indicate it is a two-horse race between candidates of the UP and the proxy candidate of the ruling CDC.
Meanwhile, the NEC is expected to begin announcing official preliminary results today, Thursday.
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.
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.
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.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/counting-still-ongoing-in-lofa-following-tuesdays-senatorial-by-election/