RESULTS OF THE PROVISIONAL BALLOTS
By Franck Felix Gutenberg, US Africa News. Updated 2014-12-27
Despite low turnout in Liberia’s Senate elections, observers are already predicting winners and losers, and President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson seems to be among the losers.
The provisional results of the 2014 senatorial election were released by radio broadcast last Saturday, December 20, just after the closing of the polls. They show a trend of domination by the opposition in nearly all 15 counties; a "tsunami of victory," according to political commentators quoted in the Liberian Observer .
Among the 139 candidates running for the 15 seats in the Senate, two candidates vying to represent Montserrado County have attracted the most attention on the political scene: George Oppong Weah of the Congress for Democratic Change and former football star, who showed that he was not only good at football but also at politics; and Robert Sirleaf, the candidate of the Unity Party and President Sirleaf’s youngest son.
It was the third consecutive time that the football star was running for an electoral post and this time it he came on strong (the current posting gives him 78% of the vote). Having supported the largest opposition party for almost 10 years and accumulated political baggage along the way, people are wondering, will he try for the top job in 2017? His victory certainly helps toward answering that question .
Unofficial results released by news agencies showed a rough day for incumbents, especially those of the ruling Unity Party under President Sirleaf, known as "Ma Ellen." Some observers say that if the unofficial preliminary results hold, the opposition parties could win up to seven or eight new seats in the Senate.
Former rebel leader Prince Y. Johnson, who has been a senator since 2005 for Nimba County , and Jewel Howard Taylor, who is none other than the wife of former President Charles Taylor, for Bong County , were both on track to have a seat.
It is speculated that Sirleaf could find it difficult to work with some of the newly elected senators, including Varney Sherman, leader of the Unity Party, with whom she has had a difficult relationship lately.