Election Day Tomorrow!
What appears to resemble the clash of the Titans in Liberian politics is to finally face off tomorrow, with the electorate holding the gavel of authority in their hands, prepared to decide the fate of politicians.
Tuesday, December 8, 2020 Liberians will go to the poll to elect fifteen senators across the country, in addition to residents of Montserrado County’s district #9 and Sinoe’s district #2, voting in a representative by-election to replace their fallen lawmakers, Munah Pelham-Youngblood and J. Nagbe Sloh. On the same day, Liberians are also expected to vote on a number of Articles proposed in the National Referendum—either to change these Articles as proposed by the referendum or to maintain them as they are.
Over the past few months, politicians and political parties have been engaged with the electorate to give them reasons why they should be entrusted with public positions and provided directions as it regards the holding of the National Referendum. As always, chicaneries and shenanigans are never left out of Liberian politics, as these questionable practices have given rise to pre-election violence in many places, including Montserrado, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties.
On the overall, activities leading to the Tuesday election could be described as relatively peaceful but tense. Early Sunday morning’s electoral violence in Grand Cape Mount County heightened the tension that comes with Tuesday’s polls, and brings to attention that Liberians are now faced with a greater task: to maintain the peace during and after the conduct of the election, and be reminded that whoever wins Liberia wins.
Meanwhile, the battle for vote-rich counties among political parties keeps resonating in the minds of many that the 2020 senatorial by-election is an indispensable factor for claiming victory in the 2023 general and presidential elections. The ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has continued on its trail to reclaim the political capital, Monrovia, from the hands of the main opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).
There are many political parties, alliances and independent candidates contesting, but the battle has been reduced to two main contenders in densely populated counties: CDC and CPP. In Grand Bassa, CPP candidate, Nyomblee Karnga-Lawrence, faces Gbezohngar Milton Findley of the CDC; in Nimba, CPP candidate, Edith Gongloe Weh, faces CDC-supported candidate Jeremiah Koung; in Lofa, CPP candidate J. Brownie Samukai faces CDC candidate George Tengbeh; in Bong, CPP’s Prince Moye faces CDC’s Henry Yallah; in Bomi, CPP’s Sando Johnson faces CDC’s Alex Tyler; in Margibi, CDC’s Ivar K. Jones faces CPP’s Ben A. Fofana; in Grand Cape Mount, CPP’s Simeon Taylor faces CDC’s Victor Watson; and in Montserrado, CPP’s Darius Dillon faces CDC’s Thomas Fallah.
In exception to Margibi and Bomi counties, where independent candidates Edwin Snowe and Emmanuel Nuquay have shown equal political strength, compared to the CPP and CDC candidates, all other vote-rich counties are expected to be won by either the CDC or CPP. However, it is said that the race is not to the swift but to him who endures to the end.
Tomorrow, election polls are expected to be declared open at 8:00 a.m. by NEC workers and be declared closed by 6:00 p.m. Vote count immediately begins, and it is expected that preliminary results will begin to pull in by the same night.
In the wake of violent threats being made by supporters of politicians, the Hot Pepper has joined in calling for a peaceful, free, fair, transparent and independent election, and hope that the NEC provides the space for every registered voter to express their will at the ballot box, void of intimidation, harassment, bias, manipulation or threat.