By: Laymah Kollie
Gbarnga-November 14,2023-WTVNEWS: Though the turnout of the November 14, 2023 run off presidential election was relatively low but it appears that women overwhelmingly turned out to participate in the process. The turn out of women speaks volume to gender equality and preparedness of Liberian women to be a part of the decision-making processes.
On Tuesday, November 14, 2023, a total of 2,471,617 registered Liberians, comprising 1,237,257 females (50.058%) and 1,234,360 males (49.9 % ) , were expected to go to the polls to participate in the presidential run-off election. This election is adjudged critical in sustaining the country’s democracy since the end of the civil war 20 years ago.
The run-off election requires a simple majority for a winner to emerge in line with the provisions of the Electoral laws. This followed the keenly contested first round wherein the incumbent President George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) pulled a total of 804,087 (43.83%) of the valid votes cast, while the closest challenger, former Vice President, Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party (UP) secured 796,961 valid votes, (representing 43.44 percent).
However, aside turning out in their numbers, these women expressed excitement about their participation in the process.
Ma Nyanpue Kollie at David Kuyon Sports Stadium Jorquelleh Dis#3 standing in the queue awaiting to cast her vote said, she feels good exercising her right.
According to ma Nyanpue, her decision to vote is not just about getting a good President but having a better future for her kids and grandkids.
“I’m happy this morning to come vote because I’m exercising my right. I’m voting so my country can get good President and better future for my children”
Also, ma Fanta Swaray at polling place four, David Kuyon Sports Stadium Precinct told our reporter about her intention to turn out in the process.
“for me, I just came for selling but I still make my way to vote. It’s important because it is the best way we all can help to transform this country”
However, Mr. James Barkolleh, Poll Officer at John Flomo Barkalu lamented on the increase number of women turning up at the center.
“Right now women and men are neck to neck. But the women can always be more than the men” Barkolleh said.
At the same time , Musa Sackor, a Unity Party Observer at Dolokelen Gboveh High School Precinct Center expressed his observation about the process.
“Even though the turn out this morning is low but we seeing women showing up gradually”
Meanwhile, Jacob Korkor Kollie , Observer of CDC explained his observation about the presidential Run-off elections. “ So far, what I have seen us low turn out but women are coming more than the men.
The National Elections Commission is expected to announce the official results from the polls conducted on November 14, 2023.