Dillon, who was also supported by the other three collaborating political parties, namely; former ruling Unity Party (UP) the Alternative National Congress (ANC) and the All Liberian Party (ALP), did not only win the senatorial race, he accumulated the highest number of votes ever in any by-election ever conducted in the country.
According to the results released by the National Elections Commission (NEC), the body that is clothed with the mandate to conduct elections for all elected public offices within the territorial confines of Liberia, the LP candidate obtained 102,549 or 55.74% of the total valid votes count of 183,970.
Disturbingly, his closest contender, Madam Paulita C.C. Wie of the ruling establishment (CDC), finished in a distant second with just 63,971 votes, which constitute 34.77% of the total valid votes cast.
Mathematically, the votes difference between the opposition candidate Dillon and the ruling party’s Wie amounts to 38,578, and it is the first time for another party other than the CDC to win the Senatorial race for Montserrado County since 2005.
In addition to Dillon’s declared victory, Madam Telia Urey, candidate of the All Liberian Party (ALP), backed by the LP, UP and ANC, is currently in the lead in the Montserrado County Electoral District #15 by-election following 78.72 percent of the total polling places counted.
Though narrow, Madam Urey is ahead of the CDC candidate, Mr. Abu B. Kamara, with 5,573 votes or 42.68%, while the latter has 5,417 or 41.48% of the total valid votes count.
Political pundits believe that the CDC is losing grip on Montserrado; its stronghold, perhaps due to the underperformance of the government.
Way back in the 2005 Presidential and Legislative Elections, both Madam Joyce Musu Freeman and the late Hannah Brent were elected Senators on the ticket of the CDC. Following the demise of Brent, the late Geradine Doe-Sheriff was elected in a by-election on the ticket of CDC in 2009.
Late Senator Doe-Sheriff was again elected Senator on the ticket of the CDC in the 2011 Presidential and Legislative Elections.
Furthermore, current President George Manneh Weah was also elected to the Montserrado County top seat in landslide victory against his distant rival Robert Alvin Sirleaf. And upon the election of President Weah, he was succeeded by Senator Saah Joseph also of the CDC.
However, in the face of these results, an executive member of the CDC, Montserrado County Electoral District # 8 Representative, Moses Acarous Gray said the county still remains the stronghold of the CDC.
Speaking recently on the Super Morning Show on the state-owned Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) Rep. Gray said the party is not deterred by whatever results because Montserrado County still remains its stronghold.
He asserted that despite the huge threat posed by the opposition, the CDC remains the most famous party at the Presidential level and will prove that in future election(s) to come.
He stated that apart from Montserrado County, the party has overwhelmingly performed in other counties at the Presidential level, but poorly at the legislative level.
“In Grand Gedeh for example, the CDC has consistently won comparatively in term of percentage to Montserrado, but has not been good in winning a legislative seat,” Gray intoned.
“[To] a greater extent we swept the South Eastern region at the presidential level, but when it comes to legislative seat, we have not been able to get more numbers in that region,” he continued.
“Like for example, we swept Bong County, but we were only able to win a single legislative seat, and that is Melvin Cole. In Grand Cape Mount, we also swept, but we were only able to get one seat,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the elections are triggered by Article 37 of the 1986 Liberian Constitution, which is regarded as the organic law of the country.
Article 37 of the Liberian Constitution states that: “In the event of a vacancy in the Legislature caused by death, resignation, expulsion or otherwise, the presiding officer shall within 30 days notify the Elections Commission thereof. The Elections Commission shall not later than 90 days thereafter cause a by-election to be held; provided that where such vacancy occurs within 90 days prior to the holding of general elections, the filling of the vacancy shall await the holding of such general elections.”
In accordance with this article, a vacancy was created at the Lower and Upper Houses of the Liberia Legislature (House of Representatives and House of Senate) following the deaths of Representative Adolph A. Lawrence and Senator Geradine Doe-Sheriff respectively.
Rep. Lawrence died in a tragic motor accident March 25 at the Tower Hill Community in Margibi after celebrating his birthday the previous day in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
Sen. Doe also died at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana in late February of this year, following a period of illness.