Liberia: Just three days after the conclusion of the 2023 Presidential and Legislative election, the National Election Commission (NEC) has raised an alarm regarding the alleged theft of ballot boxes containing cast votes from a precinct in electoral district #4, Nimba County.
Addressing the media during the regular NEC press briefing at the commission’s headquarters in Monrovia over the weekend, Chairperson of the National Election Commission, Davidetta Browne Lassana, informed reporters that on early Friday morning, Upper Nimba County’s Magistrate reported the disappearance of ballot boxes from a precinct with the code 33258 in electoral district #4 of Nimba County.
Chairperson Lassana emphasized that, of all the ballot boxes at the polling precinct, only those containing votes for the Representative race cast on October 10, 2023, were reported stolen.
“The missing ballot boxes were securely sealed and contained the votes for the Representative race. The remaining four ballot boxes for the presidential and senatorial races in the two polling places remain intact.
Furthermore, Chairperson Lassana disclosed that individuals suspected of involvement in the theft of the missing ballot boxes have been apprehended by the Liberia National Police and are currently under investigation.
“Suspects have been taken into custody by the police, who are expected to conduct a thorough investigation,” she said.
Madam Browne also mentioned that the commission continues to face challenges from political party representatives who have been disagreeing with polling staff at the tallying center in Montserrado.
She explained that these disruptions are causing delays and unnecessary tension, potentially impacting the commission’s ability to meet its timeline.
“As the tallying process proceeds, the commission faces challenges from certain representatives of political parties and candidates who disrupt the process when disagreements arise,” Madam Lassana emphasized.
She used this opportunity to urge political parties and candidates to ensure that their representatives at the Tally Center maintain a civil demeanor and follow the proper procedures by documenting any complaints using the provided complaint forms.
“The Commission has decided that starting tomorrow, October 14, 2023, the tallying of votes at the Samuel K. Doe Stadium will commence at 8 a.m. All accredited representatives of political parties and candidates are strongly urged to be present before 8 a.m. to prevent any further disruptions.
Madam Lassana also revealed that the commission successfully conducted the October 10 Presidential and Legislative Election in Sinoe County.
It’s worth recalling that due to poor road networks in the area, ballot boxes and other electoral materials couldn’t reach Sinoe County in time.
“The commission is pleased to inform the Liberian people that voting took place in Sinoe County yesterday,” she disclosed.
In the meantime, preliminary tally results show that President George Weah leads in the just-concluded October 10 Presidential elections.
Incumbent George Weah received 415,893 votes, while his main rival, Joseph Boakai, received 402,127 votes so far. The preliminary results for the October 10 elections are still being tabulated.”