By Morrison O. G. Sayon
The battle for the Special Senatorial Election in the country has ended with 13 new faces emerging while two incumbent senators maintain their respective seats in the Liberian Senate.
Senators Jewel Howard-Taylor of Bong County and Prince Y. Johnson are returning to the Liberian Senate after emerging as winners in their respective counties during the just ended mid-term Senatorial Election.
Senate Pro-tempore, Gbehnzohnzar Findley who was massively beaten by Jonathan Kaipay of the Liberty Party and nine other Senators could not return to the Senate after losing in the election. Three incumbent Senators including Cletus Wotorson of Grand Kru County, Isaac Nyenabo of Grand Gedeh County and Fredrick Cherue of River Gee County did not contest the Senatorial race.
Announcing the final results of the Election over the weekend, the Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Jerome G. Korkoya declared 15 candidates including two incumbents as winners of the Special Senatorial Election which he described as a crucial journey the Commission started a year ago.
In Bong County, incumbent Senator, Jewel Howard-Taylor is returning to the Liberian Senate after obtaining the total of 13,672 votes constituting 35.2 percent; while in Gbapolu County, former Senator, Daniel Naatehn is returning with total votes of 3,962 votes representing 34.3 percent of the total votes cast; followed by Grand Bassa County with Kaipay obtaining the total votes of 16, 296 votes representing 57.4 percent.
Renowned Liberian Lawyer and Chairman of the ruling Unity Party, H. Varney Sherman has won the Grand Cape Mount County Senatorial seat having obtained 13,651 of the total votes cast representing 61.7 percent.
Results from the 141 polling places in Grand Gedeh County have given victory to Marshall Dennis with the total votes of 6,148 votes constituting 35.9 percent and in Grand Kru County, Albert Chie won with the total votes of 5,619 representing 45.4 percent
Liberty Party candidate, Stephen Zargo won in Lofa County after obtaining the total votes of 12,797 representing 26.2 percent of the valid votes cast, while in Margibi County, Jim Tornonlah also won with the total votes of 7,893 representing 30.5 percent.
- Gbleh-bo Brown narrowly won the Maryland County Senatorial seat obtaining the total votes of 5,192 constituting 32.7 percent while in the densely populated county of Nimba, Senator Johnson is returning with a new vigor to the Liberian Senate after winning with the total votes of 37,932 votes constituting 66.6 percent.
Results from Rivercess County shows that Representative Francis Paye received the total votes of 1,959 representing 22.8 indicating that there is a vacancy in that county for the representative position of his district which he previously occupied.
In River Gee County, veteran politician and former lawmaker Commany B. Wesseh won obtaining 2,672 votes, and in Sinoe County tough-talking former Superintendent, J. Milton Teahjay won obtaining 6,772, representing 50.1 percent of the total valid votes cast.
The race in Bomi County which was marred by confusion ended with the Unity Party candidate, Morris Saytumah emerging as winner with the total votes of 8,093 constituting 47.1 percent while, in Montserrado County, football legend and Peace Ambassador, George MannehWeah, massively beat all his contenders with the total votes of 99,226 representing 78.0 percent of the total valid votes cast.
Meanwhile, the National Elections Commission (NEC) has announced that certification of winners in the Special Senatorial Election will be held on Saturday, January 3, 2015. The ceremony is expected to take place in the James Fromayan Conference Hall at the Commission’s Headquarters in Sinkor.
The NEC further reminded all candidates in the 2014 Special Senatorial Election that in keeping with the Campaign Finance Regulation, they are required to submit their Campaign Finance Reports to the Commission within 15 days following the announcement of the final results.
At the same time, the Commission has commended international partners, including the UNDP, EU, USAID, IFES, UNMIL, WHO and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for their support to the 2014 Special Senatorial Election.