Liberia: Senatorial Candidate Dillon Accuses Pres. Weah of Conniving with Elections Commission to Delay By-Elections
Monrovia – Mr. Abraham Darius Dillon, a candidate in the pending Montserrado County senatorial election, has accused the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) administration of conniving with the National Elections Commission (NEC) to delay the pending July 8th Senatorial by-election because they fear defeat.
Mr. Dillon, at a news conference Wednesday, July 3, alleged that NEC will shortly announce that the scheduled July 8, election has been postponed only for the ruling party to buy time for their candidate.
When contacted, Mr. Henry Flomo, NEC’s Communication Officer, could neither confirm nor deny the Dillon’s assertion the elections house is poised to announce the postponement of the July 8th election. He, however, disclosed that NEC will shortly hold a press conference to give update on the elections.
“Dillon does not work for NEC; we will have a press conference tomorrow (Thursday) to update you on the by-election.”
Speaking further, Dillon charged that President George Weah’s statement about how he and Telia Urey, another candidate in the by-election for District #15, cannot be elected in Montserrado County once he is President of Liberia, meant something deeper than just his popularity.
“The President launched CDC rally with a vow that once he is President of Liberia, Dillon and Urey will not win elections in Montserrado County. People taught because he is popular in Montserrado and this is Montserrado but he meant something else.
“Because the reality is showing that the CDC cannot win Montserrado County, he is conniving with the National Elections Commission to put the elections off until at a time they have consolidated to win. There is no reason why Weah government cannot give money for election because if they are sure of winning elections tomorrow, we will hold it tomorrow but if they like let them continue to postpone because it increase our chances of winning.”
On Wednesday, July 3, this newspaper reported that multiple and impeccable sources confirmed that the National Elections Commission will shortly be announcing to the public its inability to hold the elections because ballot papers and other materials to conduct the elections have not yet arrived in the country.
If such an announcement is done, then the postponement is will mark the second time in as many months that the elections have been put off.
On June 4, the Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Cllr. Jerome Korkoya warned that the elections initially planned for July 2 would not take place if all election materials are not procured and brought in the country by June 30.
At the time, Chairman Korkoya revealed that the government had finally agreed to disburse the full amount of US$2.5 million for the election but had not paid any amount to start the process.
The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning had earlier stated that the government could not ditch out such ‘huge’ amount owing to the ‘stressed’ budget.
But following series of negotiations, the NEC boss noted that the Ministry of Finance agreed to give an initial amount of US$1.5 million but by then the delay had already affected the change in the preliminary election activities including replacement of lost and damaged voter cards.