Maryland County — Maryland County District#2 Representative and former Speaker of the 54th Legislature finally concedes defeat and congratulates newly elected Representative Anthony F. William, following a rerun of the October 10, 2023, representative election in two polling places with Precinct Code #27020 in Old Sodokan, District#2, Maryland County.
The Supreme Court of Liberia ordered the National Elections Commission to conduct the rerun after former Speaker Chambers protested the initial result that announced his opponent’s winner, on grounds of disruption when locals reportedly took masked dancers at the polling centers.
Speaking on a local radio station on Friday, January 26, 2024, the outgoing District#2 lawmaker lauded the people of Pleebo for their overwhelming support during the election.
“We remain the committed and true blue warriors, who are undeterred by momentary setbacks. This presents a major victory-a time to focus on a much bigger mission for you my supporters, and the country.
To our opponents, I love you and appreciate the criticisms, all of which culminated in making me who I am. Had it not been for your constant blows, my inherent human resilience would not have been awakened,” Chambers asserted.
“Let me take this moment as a true believer in our country’s democracy to congratulate the Representative-elect of our district, Anthony William, and call on all of you to accord him the same respect as you did to me. I urge you to work with him peacefully in the interest of our district. We want to congratulate Mr. William for the strength he has shown during the entire election and we have to respect that which has been said by those actors that are in charge of our democracy also a special thanks and appreciation goes to the National Election Commission for a peaceful process.”
“Our district and its people have won, so to our winner, we want to say our heartfelt congratulations and we wish you well and we want the years before us should be years of fulfillment because we have been there for our people and this is why you have seen these achievements we have brought to our people’s, so we don’t want our district should be engulfed with commotion and conflicts” he disclose.
He recalls that during the election, there were several abusive remarks from supporters, something he notes, is not the character of the people of Sodoken District, urging Representative-elect, William to address division among the people.
“I want to say this; we are the people of Pleebo and we need to uphold the peace as citizens because election has ended.
He calls on the people of Pleebo to unite and work together in harmony because God is a God of peace.
The NEC announced Candidate Anthony F. William winner after the October 10, 2023 election but the results were strongly challenged by former Speaker Chambers, citing the involvement of traditional people in two polling places in Precinct Code#27020, Old Sodokan, District#2, Maryland County
He took several appeals before the National Election Commission but was unable to overturn the result and subsequently ran to the Supreme Court of Liberia which ruled in his favor, pointing to the fact that the threat of violence by traditional people to scare away voters had a severe threat on the district elections, especially at the two polling places named, in Old Sodokan, since there were narrow margins.
The Supreme Court noted that the decision of the National Elections Commission to have dismissed Chambers’ contention, without considering issues raised about violence by traditional people during the polling process was unfair, hence, it mandated the NEC to conduct a rerun, which was conducted on January 25, 2024, under straight security measures with a total of 811 voters turning out from the 960 registered voters in Old Sodoken polling places I and II.
Out of the 811 voters that participated during the re-run, CPP Candidate Anthony F. William obtained 671 votes, instead of previously 643 votes, while CDC Candidate and incumbent Representative Bhofal Chambers, seeking reelection, obtained 120 votes rather than his previous 95 votes on October 10, 2023, losing the seat to William. Editing by Jonathan Browne