Gbarpolu County – The Coalition For Democratic Change has endorsed incumbent representative, Hon. Alfred G. Koiwood to recontest the seat for District One in Gbarpolu County and at the same time, delegates elected two other aspirants to contest on the party’s ticket for District two and three in the impending October elections.
Hon. Koiwood was endorsed by the party on the a white ballot through a symbolic cast of vote by Emmanuel Tokpa, coordinator of National Patriotic Party (NPP) – one of the coalition member parties.
In his acceptance remark, Koiwood appreciated the coalition for the support and boasted that he’s the “only lawmaker that was able to survive (re-elected by the party to contest) in Gbarpolu County for the Congress for Democratic Change.”
“This is not a joke, we will make sure, we will campaign in the forest, in the farms, in the villages, [and] in the various towns,” he told his supporters. “We have suffered so long; this is the time that we will make the change.”
Continue Koiwood: “Let me say a big thank you to the three political parties for giving me the chance to go on the white ballot. The white ballot is not a ballot that was purchased by Hon. Koiwood. This white ballot was purchased based on my developmental activities”.
Currently, there are five persons contesting the Gbarpolu County’s electoral district one seat. Aspirants are from the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Liberty Party (LP), Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) and Unity Party (UP).
Meanwhile, the CDC’s primary in Electoral District Two, which comprises of Belle, Bokomu and GuoNwolalai Administrative Districts, saw an NPP aspirant winning the candidate who was representing the Congress for Democratic Change.
Dr. Morris Y. Harris of the NPP defeated Cllr. Cano Weso 15 to 12 votes after 27 coalition delegates who were evenly selected by the three coalition member parties went to the poll to select the candidate for the ticket.
In a victory speech, Dr. Harris describes himself as a “formidable aspirant” on the coalition ticket and a “light that has risen in district 2 that need support to brighten all part of the districts”.
He is regarded by locals as being the first medical doctor hailing from the district and the first to make an ambulance available to the area. He has also built a clinic in Zalakai Town to help ease health concerns in the area.
“I did that because there is no good health care service in the district; people who have come ahead of us did nothing, and people were dying,” he said.
The medical doctor, while outlining the significance of health service for people in the district, said it is one of the reasons he’s eyeing the legislative seat – to help locals obtain complete physical, mental and social well-being.
Meanwhile, the defeated Cllr.Weso promised to work with the coalition, saying, “The people have spoken so we will work together”.
In District three, a constituency which includes Bopolu and Kongba administrative districts, Mr. Swaray won 38 out of 45 votes to defeat Gbonojerver Quoih in the primary.
In a brief remark, Quoih accepted the result and assured his “unconditional support to the coalition” during the electoral process, while Swaray pledged to deliver District three from “the hands of bad leaders” if he is elected.
According to Swaray, “the district has long been underrepresented” and it is time for the people in that part of the country to be properly represented in the House of Representative.
Following the conduct of all the primary elections, Zinnah Normun, chairman of the CDC’s Gbarpolu chapter, thanked the delegates for “the peaceful primary”, welcomed on board all the respective winners and said his chapter is ready for the October 2017 elections.
For his part, John Gray, chair of the primary committee, said his committee did “a transparent job in the county although everyone will not be happy after elections”, while also urging the member parties to work together in the interest of the coalition.
The event which was observed by ECC, Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY), Justice of the Peace (JPC) and Crusader for Peace was described by observers as free and fair.
Aloysius Miller of Liberian Elections Observers Network (LEON) described the primary process as “transparent”.
At the end of the primary, some delegates said they were happy the event was conducted void of violence. One delegate, Hawa Yarsiah said: “I am going back home with another responsibility”.
For Oretha Maikpa, another female delegate, she said: “Today election was free and fair and the coalition is the winning team.”
Some by-standers who followed the activities described the primary as “well organized and peaceful”, and asserted that the combination of the three political parties has added some value to the CDC.
Report by: Henry B. Gboluma, Jr.