River Gee County – The assistant magistrate of the National Elections Commission (NEC) in River Gee County has successfully mitigated a tension between supporters of opposing candidates of electoral District Two in the county.
Moses Nyanotoh’s mediation into the disagreement was termed as many people in the county as a “peace talk” between followers of incumbent Representative Johnson Toe Chea of the Unity Party and opposition candidate Alex Pour.
On August 28 the NEC assistant magistrate brought the two sides together in the conference room of the commission local office to solve the misunderstanding. The two candidates are part of a list of 11 persons certified by NEC to contest the position in the upcoming elections in River Gee County’s electoral district two.
Before the intervention, the tension was drawing concerns from many in the southeastern county, while calls to avoid elections violence was resonating across the country.
Partisans of the Unity Party had accused Pour’s supporters of throwing stones at UP office as well as representative Chea’s district office. They also accused the supporters of Pour of unleashing violent invectives.
Robert S.K. Weah, chairman for the movement for Alexander Pour, denied the allegations. He said it was “shocking to receive a written communication and hear reports on the community radio stations that members of Pour’s movement had sparked out violent acts in the district”.
During the intervention, NEC officials in the county heard arguments from both parties before assistant magistrate Nyannotoh admonished both sides to refrain from actions that have the potential of sparking pre-election violence.
Mr. Nyannotoh said it was important for all supporters to remain peaceful during the campaign period because “every candidate will have to move around the district to talk to the people”.
“All of you have a responsibility to ensure that this campaign is free of violence,” he said.
At the end of the meeting, the two sides agreed to remain law abiding and explore all possible means to avoid confrontation.
Commenting on the outcome of the meeting, Anthony Yeah, a prominent resident of the district, expressed gratitude to NEC for its timely intervention.
He said they wanted to maintain a peaceful election environment that is why they wrote the Commission on the issue.
“As we are leaving from here we are turning a new page. We are all brothers and sisters; it’ s just that we all cannot be on the same side,” Yeah said.
Report By: Tenneh A. Kamara