MARYLAND COUNTY: Several people are reported wounded in rival clashes in Mayland county. According to IPNEWS reporter in Old Sodoken, Pleebo District, the violence erupted following tally process of ballot papers in Maryland County after the closure of voting on Tuesday, October 10, 2023.
Reports from the county says the clashes have left several persons wounded in Old Sodoken, at a precinct comprising two polling places.
Polling staffs and poll watchers from different political parties including other NEC officials fled the scene abandoning ballot boxes when series of controversies ensued, especially after the appearance of a ‘Country Devil’.
Sources tell IPNEWS that six ballot boxes at the two precincts were taken by the invading ‘Country Devil’ in the presence of the town chief of old Sodoken and other traditional leaders as accomplices into the ballot boxes seizure.
Eyewitnesses narrate to IPNEWS that devil brought the box outside, stuffed with ballots, while the town chief was allegedly seen with numerous pre-marked ballot papers as late as 11:00P.M. This has not been independently confirmed by NEC Maryland Election magistrate up to press time due to lack of responses.
“The NEC allowed the town chief to enter the polling station and he was marking ballots for the town people; the NEC staff allowed people to get on the line after 6:00pm. A NEC staff (CeCe Munah) continued to allowed people on the line to vote after 8:00pm.”
“The crowd erupted into confusion and later the ‘Country Devil’ was called-in and people started to run away. The Country Devil took control of the ballot box and the center.” An eyewitness told IPNEWS.
This report has not been independently confirmed by NEC Maryland Election magistrate up to press time.
IPNEWS correspondent say several supporters of incumbent Representative candidate, House Speaker Bohfal Chambers of the CDC and main challenger Anthony F. Williams, of the CPP early Friday, and Saturday demanded the votes for Pleebo-Sodoken District No. 2, in the wake of delay in the ongoing pronouncement of results by Madam Davidetta Brown Lansanah, Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC)
The rival protesters marched on the offices of the National Elections Commission in Maryland County, chanting slogans ‘we want our votes’; ‘NEC Gives us our vote’.
The protesters threatened unspecified actions, if the results of Pleebo Sodoken District #2 are not announced before Monday, October 16.
Thursday, October 12, Madam Davidetta Brown Lansanah, Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC) revealed that two of the Nimba County representative ballot boxes were stolen by “unknown men.”
“With respect to the situation at the precinct Beo Lontuo Public School with precinct code 33258, in Electoral District 4 Nimba County, which comprises two polling places, the Election Magistrate of Upper Nimba has reported that the representative ballot boxes at the two polling places were stolen by unknown men. The ballot boxes were sealed and contained representative votes cast on 10 October 2023. The remaining four ballot boxes for the president and senate for the two polling places remain intact. Suspects have been arrested by the police who are expected to conduct an investigation,” Madam Lansanah disclosed.
Further giving updates on the October 10, 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections, the NEC Chairperson stated that the tallying process continues, “the Commission continues to face challenges with the actions of some of the representatives of political parties and candidates who are intermittently disrupting the process whenever they disagree on any issue. This is causing the Commission and the nation valuable time and creating unnecessary tension at the Montserrado County Tally Center.”
She further stated that as a result of these “disruptive attitudes,” the Commission lost more than three hours on Thursday and on Friday as the process was halted for two hours. “The Commission calls on all political parties and their candidates to ensure that their representatives at the tally center remain civil and make use of the law by documenting whatever complaint they may have, using the complaint form that is available at the tally center.”
Meanwhile, the results of the preliminary presidential election as announced by NEC, put President Weah in a slight lead over his main challenger, former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai. Courtesy IPNews