Liberia: ‘They Denied Me’ Right to Vote: Voter in Cape Mount Senatorial Election Cries Foul
Obediah Johnson, [email protected]
Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County – Musu Paasewe, a mother of four (4) children, left her home on the sunny morning of Saturday, October 5, 2019 with the hope of casting her vote for the candidate of her choice in the ongoing Grand Cape Mount County Senatorial Election.
After washing a heavy pile of clothes and looking after her kids between the ages of 13, 9, 5 and 2 years, she strolled down the road from Lodejai Town to the Islamic Model School.
The school is located in Robertsport City, just a stone-throw away from the Magisterial Court in the county.
With a Precinct Code of 12064, the Islamic Model School is hosting about four (4) polling places.
Though her photograph, name and identification number were seen on the Final Registration Roll (FRR) and posted for exhibition purpose, Madam Paasewe, with Voter Registration #: 742636487, was not given the chance to exercise her constitutional franchise.
Speaking in an interview with Front Page Africa, the victim claimed that she voted twice in 2017 at the polling precinct and center she was denied.
She noted that though she was sent two (2) separate voting precincts in Robertsport, she was again denied by the Presiding Officers.
She expressed disappointment over the situation, but promised to take issue with the National Elections Commission (NEC).
“I registered to Islamic Model and I voted twice in 2017. Today when I came to vote, they denied me; they sent me to RHS-Robertsport High School. When I got there again, they sent me to Latia Public School. My photo; the picture that can be on the FRR, everything is posting on the wall. When I went to the Presiding Officer, he said his boss sent information to him that I shouldn’t vote here. They told me again to go to Latia to vote; and I asked them, how will I go way Latia to vote, and who will pay my way,” she explained.
“I voted here 2017 elections. I am feeling bad and very, very disappointed because I been here for more than two (2) hours. I am going to take issue with NEC,” she added.
Also speaking, the Presiding Officer at the Islamic Model School Polling Place # 3, only identified as Moses Harvey, confirmed the denial of the young Liberian mother from partaking in the voting exercise.
He noted that Madam Paasewe’s VR number was replaced during the replacement of lost voters’ registration cards, and as such, his “bosses,” (who he did not name) mandated him to deny her from voting.
The vacancy for the Grand Cape Mount County Senatorial election was caused by the death of Senator Edward B. Dagoseh.
The late Senator, died at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Sinkor, Monrovia, reportedly of cancer.
Until his death, he was an Executive Committee Member of the former ruling Unity Party (UP).
Unfortunately, he was among the eight UP senators of the 30-member Senate, who were suspended by the party for their role played in the removal of former Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh.
The late Grand Cape Mount Senator formerly served as Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Youth and Sports; in a senior position at the Ministry of Finance before it was merged with the Ministry of Planning and Economics Affairs.
Seven (7) candidates, including two (2) females are contesting the by-election.
They include: Mathew Darblo of the Vision for Liberia Transformation (VOLT), Kula Fofana of the Coalition for Liberia’s Progress (CLP), Daoda Metzger, an independent candidate, Simeon Taylor of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Dabah Varplah of the Unity Party, Victor Watson of the People’s Unification Party (PUP), and Sando Wayne of the United People’s Party (UPP).