By J K K Peah
A research conducted by one of Liberia’s outstanding researcher, Mr. Christian T L Peah, Sr is projecting the ruling Unity Party to win the country’s October 10th elections with a landslide and a high probability the party winning the elections without a run-off.
The research is projecting the win of the Unity Party based on the analysis of performance data of political parties from the National Election Commission (NEC) from the two elections held in 2005 and 2011 as well as the prevailing political variables and calculus permeating the political landscape of the country. The research report analysis analysis found that the ruling Unity Party will win the 2017 presidential election by 50 plus 1% or more in the first round with no run-off or more.
Justifying the projection of a Unity party win and winning in the first round with no run-off, the research report analysis uncovered that in 2005, the biggest opposition party, Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) won the first round of the election by 28.3% and the Unity Party received 19.8% of the votes in the first round of the election, followed by Liberty Party 13.9%, the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL) 9%, Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia (COTOL), 7% and National Patriotic Party (NPP), 4% votes.
The research further reveals that the top six political parties combined votes in 2005 were 80% while in the first round of the 2011 election, the top four political parties combined votes were 93% and the combined votes of the Congress for Democratic Change and Unity Party votes in 2005 accounting for 47%.
In 2011, the combined votes for the Congress for Democratic Party and Unity Party in the first round of the election summed up 76% of the votes while in 2005 the opposition Congress for Democratic Change won the Unity Party in the largest votes-rich county of Montserrado by 7.5% but in 2011 election, the opposition Congress for Democratic Change, CDC won the richest votes county by 1.4%, dropping dramatically by a 6.1%, with the two political parties wrapping up the combined votes of 67.3% in 2005 and 90.2% in 2011 respectively, the research analysis revealed.
The research data analysis finds that Montserrado County is a not the stronghold of any political party by virtue of political parties voting performances but a battleground county since the margin of win in the 2005 and 2011 elections is very small and by analyzing the how small the margin of win is, there is high possibility that Unity Party which seen progression in votes in Monterrado County contrast to the Congress for Democratic Change which dropped significantly in 2011, the Unity Party could continue on its progression and wipe out the Opposition Congress for Democratic Change 1.4% edge over the Unity Party.
Grand Gedeh County, the research findings revealed is the stronghold of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change with the party winning the county by 88.3% in 2005 and 73.49% in 2011 respectively while Unity Party received 2.3% in 2005 and 15.16% in 2011 respectively, a gain of 13.14% and drop of 15.46% by the Congress for Democratic Change and with the selection of the wife of former President Charles Taylor, Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor as Vice Presidential candidate on the CDC’s ticket, the party could lose their stronghold for the first time as the people of Grand Gedeh County might not stomach rewarding the wife of a former rebel leader whose rebellion resulted into the brutal killing of the county’s favorite son, President Samuel K. Doe and taking into consideration the former President’s Son, Samuel K. Doe, Jr has endorsed the ticket of the Unity Party.
Lofa County is the stronghold of the Unity Party and will remain to be because nothing dramatic has happened to change that trajectory as the change in trend of the Congress for Democratic Change did. The Unity Party won Lofa County by 25.9% in 2005 and 70.99% in 2011, an increment of 45.90% while the CDC received 4.9% in 2005 and in 2011, the CDC got 13.90% of the votes, an increase of 8.81%, the research report discovered.
The research findings also found that Grand Bassa County is no longer the stronghold of the Liberty Party, the only county the party has won in the two elections held in 2005 and 2011, respectively because the party’s win in 2005 of 58%, dropped to 37.59% in 2011 over Unity Party’s votes received of 33.25%, a difference of 4.34% over the Unity Party, followed by the Congress for Democratic Change by 18.26% of the votes.
On a county to county basis of voting performances, the research finds that in 2005 election, the Congress for Democratic Change in the first round won seven counties, namely; Montserrado, Nimba, Sinoe, Grand Kru, River Gee, Grand Gedeh, and River Cess while the Unity Party won Lofa, Bomi, Margibi, and Gbarpolu. In the second round of the 2005 election, Unity Party turned the tables in the second round and defeated the Congress for Democratic Change. In 2011 election, the Congress for Democratic Change won three counties, namely; Maryland, Grand Gedeh and Montserrado county in the first round of voting but boycotted the run-off while Unity Party won ten (10) counties, namely; Margibi, Grand Kru, Lofa, Bomi, Bong, River Cess, Gbarpolu, River Gee, Cape Mount and Sinoe, respectively.
The author of the research report says he conducted the independent research “because it was necessary to that the facts and circumstances that could lead to a possible victory of a political party in the 2017 elections and with the high possibility of win without a run-off be considered through a thorough research to determine if such possibilities exist for any of the political parties competing in the elections can win in the first round of the polls with 51% plus one (1) vote or more.”
The research report also recommends that Liberia’s democracy should not be referred to as “emerging democracy” since the country’s democracy has been in existence for 155 years now beginning with the first election of October 27, 1846 when the Commonwealth of Liberia conducted first referendum to determine whether Liberia be a sovereign and independent nation and in that referendum, 52% of of voters voted for independence, a vote which subsequently led to convening of the Convention Assembly to draft the Declaration of Independence and drafting of the constitution.
On July 16, 187, the Convention Assembly, having completed the draft and signed the constitution and Declaration of Independence, declared Liberia a sovereign and independent Republic, Africa’s first independent nation, leading to the Constitution Convention to draw up the new constitution and subsequently on July 26, 1847, officially declared Liberia and independent Republic at the Providence Baptist Church on Broad Street with three Commonwealth colonies represented; Montserrado, Bassa Cove and Mississippi in Africa (Sinoe).
The research asserts that Liberia is Africa’s oldest democracy with 155 years old and the fifteenth (15th) oldest democracy in the world and was interrupted for fifteen (15) intermittent years, from 1980-1985, from 1990-1997 and again from 2003-2005, the research findings further discovered.
Findings from the research report reveal that of the 170 years of Liberia’s existence, Liberians have voted in 120 elections broken down into 50 presidential elections, 52 legislative elections and 18 referendums with the October 10th elections being the 51st presidential elections and the 53 legislative election, respectively.
The research report concludes, recommending also that “political parties train their staffs in political party administration and campaign management as well as ensure that political parties’s activities and campaigns be formulated on the basis of sound research”.
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