-As defeat hangs over several incumbents

By Jerromie S. Walters

With a current figure of 11 out of the 103 lawmakers of the 54th legislature of the Republic of Liberia- it’s still unclear as to whether the present number will increase or decrease, as some female lawmakers are not sure about their reelection, while few female candidates are very certain about their ascendency to the 55th legislature, considering figures in their possessions from the October 10, 2023, polls.

Liberia’s legislative and presidential elections were held on Tuesday, October 10, 2023- and for the last two days, the National Elections Commission (NEC) has been announcing official preliminary results at all levels.

Impressively- female candidates like Madam Rugie Barry of District 1, Montserrado County, Prescilia Cooper of district #5, Montserrado county, incumbent Ellen Attoh Wreh of Margibi, District #3, Lofa County District #2 Representative Julie F. Wiah and Moima Briggs Mensah of Bong County District #6 are certain about securing their spots at the legislature, as official results from the National Elections Commission (NEC) and unofficial results have given them reasons to believe so.

Like them- Madam Dabah  M. Varpilah, a female Senatorial candidate of Cape Mount County seems to be in a comfortable position at the moment. She’s expected to join Senators BotoeKanneh and Nyonblee Karngar Lawrence at the Liberian Senate.With current unofficial results available for these women at the moment- many are certain about their election.

Unfortunately- several other female incumbents including- Bomi County, District #1 representative Finda B. Lansanah, River Cess County District #1 Representative Rosana G. B. H. Schk, Bomi County District #3 Representative Haja F. Siryon, Grand Bassa County District #2 Representative Mary Karwor, and Lofa County District #4 Representative Mariamu B. Fofanadon’t seem to be in a healthy position, as preliminary official and unofficial results seem to favor their opponents.

More to them- several female candidates have already conceded defeat, even though the National Elections Commission (NEC) has not exhausted the pronouncement of official results. Amongst them are- current Montserrado County District #4 Representative Suacoco Dennis, Montserrado county district #7 Representative candidate Wadei Powell, Montserrado county district 13 representative candidate Cornelia Kruah-Togba, and Montserrado county district #10 representative candidate Karishma P. Raad.

In a write-up Thursday, October 12, 2023, Montserrado County, District #4 Representative writes- “We pulled 10,243 votes in this 2023 election more than the 6500 votes we had 2017 that gave us the victory. It shows that we are good people and we did a great job here.  The numbers are manifestation of our working in the district and no one can deny that. It hurts to lose, but we can and will always dust ourselves up,  watch our faces and keep moving forward.”

She continues, “During these few years, we have turned strangers into friends, and  friends into family.  With all that is currently unfolding,   I will remember to hold you all close to my heart and in high esteem for a long time to come.  We have created a bond that will last a lifetime.   Thank you for a job well done. 

On Wednesday, October 11, 2023- Montserrado County District #7 candidate Powell wrote- “The numbers from the polls have come in throughout the night and up to now. And although counting is not completed, there is every indication that Mr. Emmanuel Dahn has won the race for Representative of Montserrado, District 7. Earlier today, I spoke with Mr. Dahnand offered him my congratulations on his victory. We had a good conversation about the dangers that have overtaken the district including poverty, drugs, lack of quality education, healthcare and economic growth, and the desperate need for addressing these ails if we are to move forward as a District and, ultimately, country.”

She adds, “We plan on meeting to have discussions pertinent to the best interests of the District. I would not have conceded if there was a chance that we would prevail. But it is now clear that when all the ballots are counted there won’t be enough votes for us to be able to win. And therefore, it is time to move on with the business of doing District 7 work. We began our campaign in 2022 with me being an unknown name and face in District 7 politics. All we had was hope and a vision for a better District and a track record of accomplishments that I was ready to bring to bear to accomplish this vision. It was a privilege and a gift to spend the last year traveling this District, coming to know so many of its residents, and getting an in-depth education in local politics and the everyday plights of the average Liberian. I wish that I could just snap my fingers and make it better for each and every resident across this District. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. It is going to take extremely hard work, commitment, and dedication from both the District leadership and its constituents.”

Like Suacoco and Powell, Montserrado County District #10 Representative candidate Karishma Pelham-Raad wrote via her official Facebook page Wednesday, October 11, 2023, “As a Representative candidate of District #10 Montserrado County in the just ended Oct 10, 2023 presidential and Legislative elections of Liberia , I want to use this opportunity to thank my People, the people of District #10 and the people of Liberia for exercising their constitutional rights at the ballot boxes peacefully and  to also thank my supporters and my amazing team “TEAM KARISHMA”, for their tireless efforts in supporting me throughout the electoral process.

She continues- “I would also like to extend my sincere appreciation to each and every person who supported me financially and morally throughout my campaign period. Your unwavering support for me during the election is something I will never forget. Although I didn’t win the election, I believe that I won one way or the other, especially when it comes to breaking barriers when it comes to women participation in politics and leadership in the 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections in the history of our Nation Liberia.  This election marks a significant milestone in the history of our nation as it has demonstrated that women can compete in politics and can win against their male counterparts and be a good leader as well.”

Moreover, Karishma Pelham-Raad was alone with this as in a write-up via her official Facebook page, Wednesday, October 11, 2023, Cornelia Kruah-Togba wrote- “We have few polling places left but from all indications we’ve lost. Like we’ve done since 2018, there will be no stopping until we get a chance to serve our beloved district through the Legislature.”

“Our passion to lead this District is genuine. Whether I am a lawmaker or not, I’ll continue to impart the lives of residents of District 13. We wanted a chance to rescue our children’s future that is gradually being snatched, a chance to improve the lives of our women, a chance to develop small medium enterprises, a chance to exemplify a leadership that works for you. In the coming days, she assures to begin her tour to thank the people of District 13 across the various communities for their support. Says she look forward to engaging with many of them.”

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