21 June 2019

Liberia: Senatorial By-Election Turns Two-Horse Race

Reports and views sampled on several local radio stations here suggest the pending Montserrado County Senatorial by-election is being reduced two candidates despite the National Elections Commission qualifying seven candidates.

Views sampled put ruling Coalition for Democratic Change or CDC's Candidate Ms. Paulita Wie and Mr. Abraham Darious Dillon of four collaborating opposition political parties, ahead of the rest.

Ms. Wie currently enjoys support of Coalition parties: National Patriotic Party, Liberian People Democratic Party and the Congress for Democratic Change, respectively, among other sympathizing parties such as National Union of Liberia or LINU, Movement for Economic Empowerment or MOVEE and All Liberian Coalition Party or ALCOP.

She is the Deputy Minister for Internal Affairs in this current administration, but has never tested national elections before.

Mr. Dillon comes from the opposition bloc, being strongly supported by the Liberty Party, former ruling Unity Party, Alternative National Congress and the All Liberian Party.

He is spokesperson of the Council of Patriots, the group that organized the just ended June 07 protest, something that has raised his profile significantly besides being vice chairman for political affairs of the Liberty Party.

Prior to coming to politics, he served as chief of office staff to former Speaker Edwin Melvin Snowe and chief of office staff to former Bong County Senator, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor.

Dillon also contested in the 2009 Senatorial by-election that brought on board the late Senator Geraldine Doe Sherif.

He appears much heavier politically than just come, Paulita Wie, but Ms Wie enjoys support from both the ruling CDC and President George Manneh Weah, which could work against Dillion.

Meanwhile the rest of the candidates in the race, include Kimmie Weeks, Madam Massa Massaquoi Kanyon, Mohammed Dukuly and Miatta Fahnbulleh, all Independent Candidates, who are struggling to capture public attention despite political campaign already in full swing. The by election is expected to be held July 08, 2019.

The by-election comes about as a result of the death of Senator Geraldine Doe Sherif from womb cancer following protracted illness. Doe Sherif won the Montserrado County senatorial seat on the ticket of the Congress for Democratic Change but later moved on to support the presidential bid of former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai of the Unity Party. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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