By Lincoln G. Peters
Incumbent President George Manneh Weah once more leads the National Elections Commission (NEC) 2023 Presidential votes tally, ahead of his main archrival, former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, of the opposition Unity Party, just a day after he traded behind Boakai.
National Presidential tally report released Tuesday, October 17, by NEC Chairperson Madam Davidetta Browne Lansanah puts President Weah back in the lead with 5,456 votes.
“I now read you the Presidential progressive tally report for today, October 17, 2023. Five thousand, nine hundred and nineteen-six polling places of the total of five thousand, eight hundred and nineteen-six polling places constituting 98.40%. Candidate Joseph Nyumah Boakai, opposition Unity Party, (UP) 786,205 votes, constituting 43.49%, while incumbent President George M. Weah of the ruling Coalition for Democracy Change (CDC) obtained 791, 661 votes, constituting 43.79%”, Madam Browne Lansanah stated.
Accordingly, she notes that the total valid votes from across the country is one million, eight hundred and seven thousand, seven hundred and sixty-six, constituting 100%, while total invalid votes is one hundred twelve thousand, eight hundred and seventy-five.
On the other hand, the NEC chairperson also puts total votes cast in the October 11, 2023, elections at one million, nine hundred and twenty-six thousand, twenty-five.
Meanwhile, the National Elections Commission announces a presidential rerun at two polling places in district #4, Nimba County.
Recently, Police in Nimba County arrested eight individuals in connection with theft and destruction of ballot boxes in two polling places in the area.
The incident occurred on October 10, after poll ended at Beo Lontuo Public School in Electoral District#4, where seized ballot boxes containing votes cast in District# 17. Election Supervisor for the Beo Lontuo polling places, has, however, been arrested for his alleged involvement in the disappearance of the ballot boxes.
Sahyeedeh’s main crimes, which the police are yet to disclose, comes as he stands accused of trying to protect a family member, who was reportedly involved in the disruption.
The incident in Lontuo has caused confusion in the district, leading to serious tension between supporters of Representative Gunpue Kargon of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change and his main rival, Ernest Mansea of the Movement for Democracy and Reconciliation, which is in alliance with the Unity Party.
Also, at the Montserrado County Tally Center at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, Outside Monrovia, the magistrate of upper and lower Montserrado ordered the arrest of five polling staff for electoral malpractices.
Similarly, the NEC boss adds that at Grand Cape Mount County Tally Center in Robertsport, the election magistrate reported that three presiding officers were found to have being involved in electoral malpractices at one precinct with Code 12035.
Chairperson Browne Lansanah says investigation into those matters is ongoing and finding will be released to the public as soon as possible.
“As the NEC approaches conclusion of the Presidential results, the Commission assures all stakeholders that all ballot papers that were counted at polling places on the day of vote tallying at the magistrate tally center and transmitted to NEC data center will be announced. The NEC says it is committed to the integrity of processing and announcing of votes of the Liberian people in coming days”, she promises. Editing by Jonathan Browne