Liberia: Tight Security

-over District #15 election re-run

Montserrado County District #15 faces tight security deployment for the conduct of a re-run of representative by -election in six precincts, following public outcry here against recent bloody electoral violence against opposition candidate Ms. Telia Urey and her supporters by the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) supporters.

The police here failed to contain the situation when Ms. Urey was being attacked. However, a recent Senate decision to invite heads of national security agencies upon some Senators' request has seen maximum security deployment in the politically tense district to deter further violence.

Ms Urey, the representative candidate for four collaborating opposition political parties here faces CDC's candidate Mr. Abu Kamara Wednesday, 28 August as voters in the quarantined six precincts decide who replaces late Rep. Adolph Lawrence who was killed in a fatal motor accident this year.

The National Elections Commission (NEC) ordered the re-run in the quarantined areas after reviewing Ms. Urey's complaint of election irregularities following polls in the by - election in the district last month.

Ahead of the election, the Liberia National Police (LNP) has deployed officers of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) at several key locations within the district.

During a visit in the district Tuesday, 27 August, our reporter observed the presence of ERU officers, positioned at police tanks at the intersection of Logan Town Broad Street, one of the key trouble spots where Ms. Urey escaped death on Saturday, 17 August at the hands of CDC supporters.

The attackers destroyed Ms. Urey's vehicle and stole her Ipod, but the latter was later retrieved by police after the incident.

Several persons were seriously wounded in the violence.

Official campaign activities ended on Tuesday in the district, as Ms. Urey and her supporters were seen engaged in strategizing on how to win the election.She stood as leading candidate before a re-run was ordered.

Dozens of residents of Caldwell converged at Ms. Urey's residence at Taylor Major Compound to offer prayers for their candidate for victory.

She has accused her rival Kamara of selling his vehicle, but the latter has denied the claim.

Following the security deployment, the political atmosphere in the district appears peaceful, but it remains to be seen what happens when radio stations begin to announce unofficial results on Wednesday evening.

Residents of the district were seen in small groupings observing the movements in the area as they prepare for the polls due Wednesday.

Mrs. Beatrice Nadoe, a political science instructor at a local university, warns supporters of the two candidates to respect the tendency of democracy by being law abiding and peaceful.

She discloses that anything that will affect the electoral process and the security of the area would send a complete negative picture to the international community about the country and its democratic tendency.However, some business individuals in the area think that they should close their respective businesses to observe the electoral process to avoid being victimized by any incident.

Giving his view on the district election, 74 years old Mr. Clearance Nah says he is optimistic that with the presence of the LNP officers in the area, people who intend to cause violence during the process will be arrested and prosecuted in keeping with law.

Elder Nah calls on residents of the area to put the interest of the district above personal interest.Meanwhile, opposition lawmakers in the Legislature supporting Ms. Telia Urey recently said they would watch the process to avoid any foul play during the voting process.By Emmanuel Mondaye-Edited by Winston W. Parley

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