11 June 2019

Liberia: Electoral Violence Creeps in District#15

-1 reportedly injured, 2 flogged

One person has been allegedly injured and two others flogged following a political violence in Montserrado County Electoral District #15.The violence reportedly occurred Saturday, 08 June in Blamo Town community, Logan Town,

leaving a supporter of opposition All Liberian Party Candidate Telia Urey and two females of her campaign team allegedly flogged by people believed to supporters of the governing

Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) Candidate, Abu Bana Kamara.

The Chairman of MsUrey's campaign team, GeapleySeedey G. Monboe, in an exclusive interview with The New Dawn at the ALP's campaign office situated on Bushrod Island, narrates that at about 11:30 AM Saturday, some supporters of CDC Candidate Abu Bana Kamara, Sr.

allegedly attacked one of their supporters Joseph Saah in Blamo Town community, while they were erecting campaign materials of Candidate Telia Urey, daughter of ALP political leader, businessman Benoni Urey.

Mr. Urey is the head of four collaborating opposition political parties in the country, challenging the leadership President George Manneh Weah. The parties include the former

governing Unity Party, Mr. Urey's All Liberian Party, the Alternative National Congress of ex-corporate executive Alexander Cummings and the Liberty Party of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, all former presidential candidates from the 2017 elections. Mr. Monboe explains that during the event, Mr. Saah was allegedly hit above his left eye with a harmer used by suspects Olando T. Doe of Kamara's camp and another supporter

identified as Samuel Johnson who, were subsequently arrested by the Liberia National Police (LNP).He quotesthe purported supporters of Mr. Kamara as saying that they were instructed by the

CDC candidate to attack any supporter of Ms Urey campaign team, who speaks negatively against Mr. Kamara.He says prior to the alleged attack, supporters of Mr. Kamara severely flogged two female

supporters of the ALP candidate Ms Urey, and that while Police officers tried to intervene, they were allegedly stoned.

According to him, Mr. Kamara's supporters allegedly pull down and discard campaign posters of Ms Urey's in the district in violation of the election law of Liberia thereby,

compelling them to replace said posters.He wonderswhy they do receive attacks from other political parties or Independent

Candidates in the race except supporters of the CDC Candidate, Kamara.

Monboe warns that never again will they allow anyone to inflict bodily wounds on their supporters as a repeat would mean declaration of war between the two political parties until government intervenes.

He stresses that the best strategy the purported Kamara supporters should do is to sell their candidate through a constructive campaign rather than resorting to violence.

He notes that the Police witnessed the unbecoming behavior when the attackers moved against MsUrey's supporters with a knife, sticks and other objects at their campaign office just a stone throw from the LNP depot in the district, adding that the Police swiftly intervened to avoid clashes between both groups.

Chairman Monboethen calls on the National Elections Commission (NEC) to swiftly intervene by taking appropriate actions that will deter campaign violence in the district.The NEC is preparing to conduct a senatorial by-election and a representative by-election both in Montserrado County.

He discloses that an observer from the National Elections Commission who had gone to the district to ascertain circumstances that necessitated the alleged attack, has officially notified.

When the residence of Mr. Abu Bana Kamara was contacted by this paper on the day of the incident, he was said to be busy and could not speak to the press.

There are several candidates vying for the vacant seat in District#15, including the governing CDC's Abu Bana Kamara, ALP's Telia Urey, businessman Karvin M. Boyoh, and Amos NyonwlehTubor, Sr., among others.The by-election is in the quest to replace fallen lawmaker Adolph Lawrence, who died in a fatal car crash in April on the Monrovia-Roberts International Airport highway while returning to Monrovia from Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County where he had celebrated his 50th birthday with his widow, Senator NyonbleeKangar Lawrence.

Our reporter again contacted the residence of Mr. Abu Bana Kamara on 10 June to get his reaction to the allegations, but he was said to be indisposed. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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