Liberia: FrontPageAfrica Delves into the Aspirants Opting to Contest Montserrado County District 15 and Senatorial By-Elections
MONROVIA – The die is cast and the scramble for the control of Montserrado County appears to be keener than ever with barely one month to the conduct of the two by-elections in Montserrado County: District 15 and the Monsterrado County senatorial by-elections.
Report by Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
The two by-elections might be unpredictable.
The momentum is getting high and the races to replace fallen Montserrado Senator Geraldine Doe Sheriff who died early this year and Adolphus Lawrence of District #15 in Montserrado County are becoming intriguing by the day.
The two elections come at the time the four collaborating parties, the Alternative National Congress, All Liberian Party, Unity Party and Liberty Party are jostling to wrestle power from the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change.
Recent political occurrences in the country have made the jostling for who succeeds Doe-Sheriff and Lawrence keener than expected.
Observers of political events have also concluded that a win for either party would seemingly give a glimpse of what to expect in the 2020 and 2023 senatorial and presidential elections, respectively.
Five contenders are tossing their hats for the Senate, while three have declared their interests to replace Lawrence.
Foremost amongst the candidates for District 15 representative seat Abu Kamara, Tilia Urey, Amos Tweh and Kelvin Bayoh.
Abu Kamara is not a greenhorn in District 15 politics; he is taking the shot at the representative seat for the second time, having missed a chance to contest against the late Lawrence in the 2017 elections.
He was disqualified by the National Elections Commission (NEC) for his failure to adhere to the Code of Conduct regulation that called for appointed officials of government to resign their positions three years prior to an election in which have interest.
Telia Urey, daughter of businessman Benoni Urey, who is appearing in the political scene for the first time in the has endeared herself into the heart of many people especially with her brilliant performance in recent political debates in the country but whether she will be able to amass the vote base on the support of the four collaborating parties remains to be seen.
Amos Tweh is not new in Liberian politics. He had been a strong supporter of the former ruling Unity Party. Not only did he serve as a deputy minister in the previous regime, he was strong campaigner for former Vice President Joseph Boakai’s presidential bid.
Tweh is known in the district for soliciting funds for developmental projects in the district during the regime of the former ruling Unity Party.
Kelvin Morris Bayoh is a resident of the Sayon Town community in District 15.
He is not a familiar face in politics but has lived with the people of the District for over 10 years.
As a lover of sports, he organized a football team named Pages FC that gained promotion to the second division league of Liberian Football in 2017.
Kelvin was elected as an Executive Committee member of the Liberia Football Association in 2018 and he is current chairman on media and marketing.
He was a close friend of the late Rep. Lawrence. It is believed that the office and supporters of the fallen lawmaker have endorsed Bayoh as Rep. Lawrence’s replacement.
Candidates for the senate
Abraham Darius Dillion, popularly called ADD, the Liberty Party candidate, who was endorsed by the four collaborating opposition political parties as their choice for the Senate, is a major contender in the race.
His legislative experience and stint as Chief of Office Staff to former Bong County Senator and now Vice President, Jewel Howard-Taylor, seems to have prepared him for the office.
He has been predicted to be one of those that is likely to win the election because of his political trajectory in the county.
Dillon is one of the leading organizers of the much-talked-about June 7 ‘Save the State’ protest.
Dillion is a familiar political brand in Monsterrrado. He seems to enjoy goodwill amongst the people having contested same seat but was defeated by the late Geraldine Doe-Sheriff.
Ms. Paulita Wie is the choice of the governing CDC. In fact, President Weah’s resolved on Wie winning the Senate seat is untiring. Wie, who resigned her post as Deputy Minister for Urban Development at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, enjoys an uncommon support from hierarchy of the CDC.
Wie has age, bubbling energy of a youth and intelligence on her side. Her chances of winning the seat cannot be under estimated.
Kimmie Weeks, new in politics, but certainly not a stranger in the public domain, especially among the youth.
Internationally acclaimed Liberian humanitarian Dr. Kimmie Weeks has said that if elected as Senator of Montserrado in the upcoming Senatorial bi-elections he will give back 100% of his salary to humanitarian projects in various districts.
In 1994, at the age of 14, Kimmie began working to impact that lives of Liberian children and youth. He co-founded the Voice of the Future Inc., and later went on to establish the Children’s Bureau of Information. In 1996, Weeks launched the Children’s Disarmament Campaign to successfully advocate for the disarmament of Liberia’s 20,000 child soldiers.
Rev. Samuel Enders was a newcomer in Liberian politics in 2017 when he ventured to contest the Montserrado County District 6 seat. Being popular in the district for his humanitarian works which include education and health care, Rev. Enders surprisingly overwhelming beat popular talk-show host, Henry Costa to become the lawmaker of the district. His chances in the Senatorial election cannot be measured as he is known for putting up surprises as he did in the 2017 election.