The National Elections Commission (NEC) yesterday announced the first early results of the October 10 presidential elections, which showed Senator George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) taking the early lead.
We consider this to be rather impressive, especially since tally in several of the counties that people thought would have been easy wins for Unity Party's Joseph N. Boakai are so far in favor of CDC's Weah.
These counties, including Bomi, Bong, Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Mount, are all heavily Poro and Sande areas that people expected to be easy wins for Boakai, a very strong Poro man from the Kissi tradition of Lofa County.
In Bomi, the preliminary results had Weah in a 11.3% lead - 44.4% over Boakai's 33.1%. In Bong County, the preliminary results showed that Weah out-polled Boakai by 5.4%, taking 39.4% compared to Boakai's 34.0%.
In Gbarpolu County, the preliminary results gave the CDC standard bearer 44% of the vote, compared to Boakai's 34%; while in Grand Cape Mount County CDC polled 44.4% compared to Boakai's 37.5%.
Even in Margibi, home of Boakai's running mate Emmanuel Nuquay, CDC again out-polled Unity Party at 42.8%, compared to UP's 34.6%.
Now these, as NEC Commissioner Jerome Korkoya made clear in yesterday evening's press conference, are only preliminary results that have come in, while counting in the various voting precincts is still going on.
CDC is handily leading in most other parts of the country, with the exceptions of Nimba as well as Lofa, where their favorite son, Foya-born Joseph Nyumah Boakai, has a whopping 78.1% of the vote, while CDC's Weah has scored a meager 5.8% so far.
Weah's strongest showing, as also in the past two elections (2005 and 2011), was in Montserrado County, where he has garnered a whopping 50.4% of the vote, compared to Boakai's 26.6% so far.
Weah is handily sweeping the entire southeast, from Grand Gedeh to River Gee to Grand Kru, Maryland and Sinoe counties. In River Gee, Boakai has made an impressive showing, scoring 15.9% compared to Weah's 16.7% of the votes counted so far. But in Sinoe County, the preliminary results showed Weah scoring very heavily - 69.3% compared to Boakai's 13.12%.
The big exception for both leading candidates - Weah and Boakai, was Nimba County, where the preliminary counting showed Senator Prince Johnson carrying 52.6% of the vote, leaving only 18.16% for Boakai. But there also, Weah has so far managed to get 7.1%.
Predictably, Liberty Party's Charles Walker Brumskine polled handsomely in his home county, Grand Bassa, where the preliminary counting gave him 48.4% of the vote, compared to 8.3% for Boakai and 32.5% for Weah.
Weah and his CDC also upstaged Alexander Cummings of Alternative National Congress (ANC) in his own county, Maryland, with 36.2% of the vote, compared to Boakai's 15%. Cummings captured a strong 31.5%.
One grave concern of the electorate is who is doing the counting in the remaining precincts and whether all of the party representatives are at these precincts to ensure transparency and accountability.
We hope and pray this is the case, and that ALL party representatives are present, watching and are actively involved in the counting, so that no one will be able to cry foul. This is would translate to everyone being involved until the very end of the counting and transmission of the results to the NEC headquarters in Monrovia, so the results would be welcomed and accepted by the electorate and the various parties.