Edging To Runoff?

Echoes, trumpeting, crowd-pulling and projection of first round victory before the elections appear to be changing gears as political transfer windows are being whispered based on latest results.

The National Elections Commission has promised to announce final results of Tuesday’s polls in its next press briefing.

But the fourth provisional results announced by the commission on Sunday indicated an imminent presidential runoff between the ruling Unity Party (UP) and the main opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).

According to Sunday’s provisional results, 5,151 polling places, constituting 95.6% of 5,390 polling places across the country, have been tallied and reconciled with 1,550,805 votes.

Out of this number, 1,466,748 are valid votes while 84,057 are invalid.

Addressing the press conference on Sunday, October 15, 2017, NEC Chairman, Jerome Korkoya noted that out of the 1,466,748 valid votes, the CDC accumulated 572,374 votes constituting 39.0% while the UP accumulated 427,544 votes representing 29.1%. The Liberty Party (LP) followed with 144,353 representing 9.8%.

Looking at the latest results, coupled with the remaining 4.4% of the polling places, observers, analysts and mathematicians say it is not possible for a candidate to obtain the 50% plus a vote in the first round.

According to NEC, voting counting are yet to be completed in: Montserrado, 4.3% reaming; Nimba, 22.2% remaining; Sinoe, 2.2% remaining and Grand Kru, 4%.

However, NEC is the only institution clothed with the authority to announce whether there will be a runoff or not.

Be as it may, the constitution of Liberia provides for absolute majority, for a candidate to win the presidency. Until this is amended, runoff will be a must once it is declared by NEC.

In related development, the opposition Liberty Party (LP) has filed a complaint citing alleged irregularities during the elections. NEC is yet to comment on the allegation.