Turnout proves Lofa rebuffed by-election
Executives of the former ruling Unity Party (UP) have been meeting as they gather evidence to prove that the just-ended Lofa Senatorial by-election was rigged, sources told the New Dawn Monday.
The UP Executives including political leader Joseph N. Boakai, along with opposition sympathizers Liberty Party Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence and All Liberian Party-political leader Benoni Urey met on Monday, with another meeting scheduled for today Tuesday, July 5, to announce their next plan of action.
The UP and its sympathizers, according to sources are alleging that the by-election was rigged in favor of government-backed candidate Cllr. Joseph K. Jallah. Cllr. Jallah who immediately declared his membership to the ruling party following the announcement of the official result by the National Elections Commission over the weekend.
NEC on Friday, July 1 declared the heavily backed government candidate Cllr. Jallah as the winner of the Lofa County Senatorial by-election, after it said 100% of the polling places had reported.
“With 100% of the polling places having been tallied, the commission hereby declares independent candidate Joseph Kpator Jallah as the winner of the June 28, 2022, senatorial by-election in Lofa County,” said Madam Davidetta Browne-Lansanah, Chairperson of the NEC.
The by-election was held to fill a vacant seat that former Defense Minister Brownie Samukai could not be allowed to occupy following his election in 2020 due to his conviction in a criminal trial.
“As you will recall, of the 454 polling places in Lofa County, we on June 30, 2022, reported the tallied results of 381, constituting 83.92%,” Madam Browne – Lansanah told a press conference over the weekend.
She detailed that the tally team has tallied the results from the remaining 73 polling places, constituting 100%, which put Cllr. Jallah at 36.46% and UP Kortimai at 35.15%.
But the UP, though yet to make it official, is contesting the result and has planned to announce its next plan of action today.
Meanwhile, report emerging from Lofa indicates that the poor turned out on election day was a complete rebuffed of the entire process by majority of the people.
Out of a total of 187,775 registered voters in the county, only 62,519 representing 33.29% of the voters turned out on June 28 to cast their votes. Out of this number, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) backed candidate obtained 22, 019 votes which summed up his 36.46%.
But experts say the 22,019 votes obtained by the CDC-backed Jallah is just 11.72% of the total number of registered voters in the county-187,775, while his closest rival obtained 11.30% translating into 11.30%. They claimed that with such a low percentage of the total number of registered voters Jallah does not have the required majority vote and therefore he is illegitimate-but that is an argument for another time.