KAKATA, Margibi – Former House of Representatives speaker Emmanuel Nuquay has been elected senator in Margibi after obtaining more than half of the total valid votes cast by over 58,000 eligible voters in the county.
According to the final tally sheet from the National Elections Commission issued on Sunday, Nuquay of the People’s Unification Party obtained 34,918 votes (59.6 percent) of the total valid votes.
His closest rival, Rep. Ivar Jones of the Coalition for Democratic Change, who currently represents the county’s second district, obtained 15,838 votes, which constitutes 27.1 percent.
Incumbent Senator Oscar Cooper who sought reelection as an independent candidate took a distant third place, with 3,350 votes or 5.7 percent, while the remaining four candidates obtained less than 2.5 percent of the total valid votes each. They include the county’s fourth district representative, Ben Fofana of the largest opposition bloc, the Collaborating Political Parties; independent candidates Alexander Collins and Gabriel Bedell; and Hannah Macaulay of the Movement for Progressive Change.
Nuquay won in all five electoral districts in the county, including those occupied by sitting representatives, Jones and Fofana, who also contested in the election.
He campaigned on a platform of reconciliation, agriculture, road development, healthcare, energy, safe drinking water, and dignity of labor.
He was handed the position by President George Weah after his bid to become vice president failed. Nuquay was running mate to Weah’s main opponent, Unity Party’s standard-bearer Joseph Boakai, in the 2017 presidential election.
Since his official declaration by the NEC as the winner of the election, the senator-elect is yet to make any detailed public statement, except a brief comment made on his campaign Facebook page acknowledging his win and thanking the public for the support.
Four of the candidates who lost in the election, including Jones, Fofana, Collins, and Bedell, have conceded and congratulated the winner on his victory.
“I’m delight[ed] that the good people of Margibi County peacefully exercised their constitutional rights as enshrined in the 1986 Constitution of Liberia. As indicated in article one, the will of the people must be respected,” Nuquay’s closest rival Jones wrote on Facebook.
“In the true spirit of democratic practice, I want to use this opportunity to extend congratulations to all the Candidates of the Margibi County midterm senatorial elections and the winner Hon. J. Emmanuel Nuquay.”
Campaigning in Margibi was dominated by the call for reconciling the county and unifying the citizens. One Margibi youth who keenly observed the election, Abraham Delleh, called on all candidates who participated to embrace peace and unity to ensure that the county is adequately represented at the legislature.
“Our county, Margibi, is a beautiful place with brilliant men and women hoping to achieve greater things at the national level. To the candidates who did not reach the margin of becoming victorious, it is now time that we hold together in maintaining the status quo; i.e. existing state of affairs, especially regarding social or political issues,” he said.
“We should never hold our county hostage because of a single election, but rather, we should stand for tangibles in crafting and promoting good laws or policies for our county and country at large.”
Featured photo by Gbatemah Senah