According to report in Old Sodoken, PleeboDistrict, the violence erupted following tally process of ballot papers in Maryland County after the closure of voting on Tuesday, October 10, 2023.
Reports from the county say the clashes have left several persons wounded in Old Sodoken at a precinct comprising two polling places. Polling staffs and poll watchers from different political parties including NEC officials reportedly fled the scene abandoning ballot boxes when series of controversies ensued especially after the appearance of a ‘Country Devil.’
Our reporter in the county disclosed that six ballot boxes at the two precincts were taken away by the invading ‘Country Devil’ in the presence of the Town Chief of old Sodoken and other traditional leaders as accomplices into the ballot boxes seizure.
Eyewitnesses disclosed that the devil brought the box outside, stuffed with ballots, while the town chief was allegedly seen with numerous pre-marked ballot papers as late as 11:00P.M. This has not been independently confirmed by NEC Maryland Election Magistrate up to press time.
Other eyewitnesses explain that the traditional chiefs were blocking the vote count in favor of another contestant, Anthony Williams (A first cousin of former Senator Nathanel Williams of River Gee County).
“The NEC allowed the town chief to enter the polling station and he was marking ballots for the town people; the NEC staff allowed people to get on the line after 6:00pm. A NEC staff (CeCe Munah) continued to allowed people on the line to vote after 8:00pm. “The crowd erupted into confusion and later the ‘Country Devil’ was called in and people started to run away. The Country Devil took control of the ballot boxes and the center,” an eyewitness disclosed.
Our correspondent says several supporters of incumbent Representative candidate, BohfalChambers of the CDC and main challenger Anthony F. Williams of the CPP early Friday, and Saturday demanded the out coming votes for PleeboSodoken District No. 2 in the wake of delays of calling at going pronouncement by Madam Davidetta Brown Lansanah, Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC).
The rival protesters marched on the offices of the National Elections Commission in Maryland County chanting slogans, “We want our votes, NECgives us our vote.”
The protesters threatened unspecified actions, if the results of Pleebo Sodoken District #2 are not announced before today Monday, October 16.
On Thursday, October 12, Madam Davidetta Brown–Lansanah, Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC) revealed that two of the Nimba County representative ballot boxes were stolen by unknown men.
“With respect to the situation at the precinct BeoLontuo Public School with precinct code 33258, in Electoral District 4 Nimba County, which comprises two polling places, the Election Magistrate of Upper Nimba has reported that the representative ballot boxes at the two polling places were stolen by unknown men. The ballot boxes were sealed and contained representative votes cast on 10 October 2023. The remaining four ballot boxes for the president and senate for the two polling places remain intact. Suspects are being arrested by the police who are expected to conduct an investigation,” Madam Lansanah disclosed.
The NEC Chairperson stated that the tallying process continues adding, “The Commission continues to face challenges with the actions of some of the representatives of political parties and candidates who are intermittently disrupting the process whenever they disagree on any issue. This is causing the Commission and the nation valuable time and creating unnecessary tension at the Montserrado County Tally Center.”
She further stated that as a result of these disruptive attitudes, the Commission lost more than three hours on Thursday and on Friday the process was halted for two hours. “The Commission calls on all political parties and their candidates to ensure that their representatives at the tally center remain civil and make use of the law by documenting whatever complaint they may have using the complaint form that is available at the tally center.”