The Special Senatorial Election is slated for December 8, 2020. Fifteen (15) senatorial seats are up for grasp, with most, if not all of the 15 senators, whose tenures would have expired few months from now, seeking reelection. The ensuing election is in line with the Constitution, which is regarded as the organic of the country. Accordingly, with the county’s biggest political office at stake barely five months from now, some big names to contest the Special Senatorial Election for the county include Foreign Minister Milton Gbezohngar Findley, Grand Bassa County Electoral District #4 Representative Vincent Willie and a top educator, Dr. Emmanuel BravyDaykeay.
But from the look of things, it is believed that the main contest will be between incumbent Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence of the opposition Liberty Party (LP) and by extension the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) and Minister Findley, who is expected to contest on the ticket of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC). It could be recalled that Min. Findley, who was voted out of the position in 2014 against Senator Jonathan Kaipay of the LP was recently petitioned by some traditional leaders of the county to contest the ensuing election.
In their petition, the traditional leaders, headed by the Chief Grand Zoe of the county, Mr. Edward Garmah, described the decision taken by the county in 2014 as a great regret. According to them, the current Foreign Minister possesses the best leadership skills that can deliver the county through its developmental needs. The traditional leaders of Grand Bassa County along with youth and women groups petitioned Findley to return to the county and represent them at the Senate by contesting the December 8, 2020 Special Senatorial Election. “We have come to petition you to contest the 2020 Special Senatorial Election in Grand Bassa County. I want to say sorry and inform you that what happened 2014 will not be repeated,” said the statement read by Grand Bassa Culture Coordinator Mr. Isaac Toe.
“Whereas, his persistence to ensure the economic viability of the county through Port Concession and the establishment of an Economic Free Zone in Grand Bassa, which will attract more companies and job opportunities, and his quest to build a 100-bedroom hospital, which will address some of the current health constraints on the county health sector, speak of his leadership qualities that is so desired right now in Grand Bassa,” the petitioners, in their petition statement, among other things, added. Since the petition, the former Grand Bassa Senator is yet to officially respond d to the petition on grounds that he would seek the advice of President Dr. George Manneh Weah before making any decision.
While Minister Findley is yet officially respond to the petition, it is most likely that he would contest the race having already been favored by the National Patriotic Party (NPP), a member of the ruling CDC.
With the latest climate, political pundits are of the belief that he would be the main challenger to the incumbent if he accepts the petition to contest, even though he was defeated in the 2014 Special Senatorial Election by a LP candidate (Sen. Kaipay). Since the return of what has been termed as real multi-party democracy in the country, the opposition LP had been the leading or most dominant political force in Grand Bassa, but the 2017 Presidential and Representative Elections brought some changes in the body politics of the county as the results saw the party lost all the five political districts.
Electoral District # 1 and 2 were won by former Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue (Independent) and Representative Mary Karwor of the former ruling Unity Party (UP) respectively.Electoral District #3, which then was one of the strongest holds of the LP, was won by Representative Matthew Joe of the CDC. Electoral District #4 was won by an Independent candidate Vincent Willie, while District 5 was also won by Representative Thomas Goshua of the UP.
If the current political climate is anything to go by, it would be difficult for the incumbent to retain her seat, and it is likely to be taken by the would-be ruling party’s candidate Findley.
However, with all things being taken into context, the political histories of the Karnga in the country’s sixth votes rich-county can’t be overlooked, as well as the political profile of the LP.