Liberia: CDC, Opposition Supporters Clash

Premises surrounding the National Elections Commission turned battle ground at about 11:20 am Tuesday, August 13, characterized by fistfight, throwing of rocks and other missiles between supporters of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change and four collaborating opposition political parties.

Both sides had converged at the NEC to hear final argument into complaint of alleged electoral irregularities filed opposition Candidate Ms. Telia Urey , but commissioners, political parties' actors, employees and dwellers of the 9th Street Community could not move about easily as usual as the stone battle began among rival supporters.

The rock war lasted for 10 minutes before officers of the Police Support Unit and the Emergency Response Unit of the Liberia National Police restored calm.

Spokesperson of the former ruling Unity Party, Mohammed Ali, whose party's vehicle was damaged during the violence, narrates that he had just arrived on the scene and parked his vehicle when individuals believed to supporters of governing Coalition of Democratic Change smashed his car and attempted harming him, but police intervened.

It all started when supporters of the CDC arrived at the NEC where the final hearing was scheduled, and met dozens of Urey's supporters standing in front of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) head offices on 9th Street and immediately began throwing stones, forcing the Urey side to flee in all directions.

But the purported CDCians pursued them, resulting to damage of three vehicles owned by the bank, including the UP spokesman's vehicle.

Mr. Ali claims three of his partisans were brutally injured, one of them losing two teeth in the fight, disclosing that police made some arrest, including two alleged "ringleaders" of the violence.

The situation forced pedestrians and vehicles to detour the main route to central Monrovia, taking the Jallah Town road instead.

Similar situation occurred between supporters of the CDC and the opposition Liberty Party (LP) supporters in July after the senatorial by-election, resulting to injuries.

As a result of Tuesday's fight, local and international observers who had gone to monitor the final argument, could not access the NEC conference hall where the hearing was ongoing.NEC hearing officer, Atty. Munah Ville has been presiding over the electoral fraud complaint filed by MsTelia Urey of the four collaborating opposition political parties against the ruling CDC's Abu Kamara.

Prior to yesterday's clash, the four opposition collaborating political parties issued a clarion call to the NEC and the government to ensure the will of voters in Montserrado County District #15 prevails.

"Let the word go forth to those seeking to circumvent the District #15 by-election results that we are not taking this process lightly. We hope that the NEC does the right thing by allowing the will of the people to prevail and give our candidate Miss Urey her deserved victory", cautioned the vice chair of the opposition Alternative National Congress in a news conference here Monday.

NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome Korkoya maintains that final results of the Representative By-election in District #15 will not be announced until complaints by Ms. Urey and other individuals are properly investigated and findings released to the public.Governing CDC chairman MulbahMorlu did not respond to phone calls despite several attempts by this paper to reach him via mobile.

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