Liberia: Telia Urey Concedes Early Defeat in District 15 By-elections
Monrovia – Telia Urey, the candidate of the All Liberian Party who is backed by three others opposition political parties in the Montserrado County District #15 Representative re-run by-election, has conceded to Abu Kamara of the ruling party on Wednesday evening.
Urey accepted defeat couples of hours after the records of the counts were being posted at the 20 polling places where the re-run had taken place on Wednesday, August 28.
Wednesday’s rerun at the six polling precincts – comprising 20 polling places – was decided by the National Elections Commission after Ms. Urey protested results from the first round of polls.
Mr. Kamara had earlier taken exception to NEC’s decison. His party, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), also announced their dissatisfaction with the ruling and threatened to boycott the rerun.
But Kamara last week withdrew his challenge to the ruling and requested the Elections Commission to go ahead with the rerun.
Following the hotly contested re-run, which was preceded by several violent incidents, Ms. Urey took to Facebook at about 8:30pm to make her shocking announcement.
Wrote Urey: “Against so many odds and evil, we fought fiercely! Not for personal gains, but for a better district and a better Liberia.
“We may have lost this election, but we have won the confidence and trust of our people. Our fight will continue for the rest of our lives!
“To our supporters, we can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve put into this process. Our struggle for your lives to get better has just begun! You can always count on me to be there!
“I pray that the end of this election brings peace to the District! D-15, I love you!”
Urey’s acceptance of her failed result comes ahead of the official announcement by the NEC.
It is unclear when the final results will be announced but with Kamara’s now aware that his main opposition had accepted defeat, his supporters and party will now prepare for a grand celebration.
However, Kamara has not made any official victory statement.
On Wednesday as early as 7:45 A.M, voters of the disputed 20 polling places quarantined in the district were seen in the queue. Many of the voters were women and youth.
Many of those who turned out on Wednesday told FPA that they did not vote during the first round of the voting on July 29.
Hannah Wesseh, 34, a mother of three, said she did not vote during the first round of the election. But she was one of the few persons standing at the beginning of the long queue at the Kingdom Embassy church in Logan Town to vote.
“During the first election, I never had the courage to vote but I think now is time for me make the right decision for my children’s future,” Wesseh said.
Another resident, George Sumo says he put in for an excuse at his work site just to cast his vote. According to him, he missed out on the first round of voting.
“I will make sure that I vote. No matter how long the line is. This election is critical for our district,” Sumo said.
Huge Police Presence
There was a noticeable huge police presence during the entire day on the main streets in the most famous community — Logan Town.
The police said they were “on hand” to put under control any violent situation.
The officers were seen preventing people from standing in groups outside polling places.
When counting of the ballots papers began, police officers were also prohibiting people from passing in front of the voting precincts.
According to the officers, their action was to “prevent any post-electoral violent” occurrences.
Before the poll, there were concerns about potential post-election violence after two separate violent incidents in the area between supporters of Urey and Kamara.
The riot led to the damaged of Urey’s bullet-proof Toyota Land Cruiser and injured several of her supporters.
Voting, however, ended peacefully at those 20 polling places, including those ones in Logan Town.
Pre-Victory Jubilation for Kamara
Ahead of official announcement by NEC, supporters of Kamara took to the main streets of Logan town to celebrate their candidate lead.
They were seen singing, drumming and blowing bands, while throwing jibes and profanity at Urey. The main route to the Logan town community was blocked by crowds of people.