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Analysis of the 2011 October General Election Results: Part I
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Analysis of the 2011 October General Election Results: Part I

(Nov 4, 2011) By: Ahmed Sheriff

I have spent days looking and analyzing the 2011 Liberian Legislative election results. Never before have I seen such a diverse opinion of the people as I do here. Based on my training in empirical data analysis, I assume that the 2011 ballot casts in the Liberian elections was mostly based on regional and individual perception. Out of 16 presidential candidates, 2 candidates received 76.6% of all the votes in the general presidential elections; Sirleaf of UP 43.9% and Tubman of CDC 32.7%. The remaining 23.4% of the votes went to the rest of the 14 political parties. Out of the 23.4% remaining votes, Prince Johnson received 11.6%, Charles Brumskine 5.4%. Gladys Beyan of GDPL and Kennedy Sandy (LTP) received 1.1% each.  None of the remaining ten remaining candidates received more than 0.6% of the national votes.

Kennedy Sandy and Gladys Beyan were by far the biggest surprises in the presidential race. Together, Mr. Sandy and Ms. Beyan got a total of 26,352 of the presidential votes which is 2.2% of the total national vote. These two candidates did better than Togbah-Nah Tipoteh, Dew Mayson, Simeon Freeman, Chea Cheapoo Sr. and Jonathan Mason combined. These five candidates totaled for 25,767 votes which is 2.1% of the total national votes. 

For the purpose of this document, I will concentrate more on the legislative elections. Liberia has fifteen political sub-divisions. There are 30 seats for the House of Senate, with two senators representing each county. There are 73 seats in the House of Representatives; each county’s representation is contingent upon total population of the county. Fifteen of the thirty Senatorial seats were up for reelection while all representatives were up for reelection in October, 2011. Montserrado has 17 seats, Nimba has 9 seats and Bong has 7. Lofa, Grand Bassa and Margibi have 5 each. Gbarpolu, Cape Mount, Bomi, Grand Gedeh, Sinoe, River Gee and Maryland have 3 each. While River Cess and Grand Kru have 2 each.      

Stats:

• CDC lost one seat, gained one new seat and retained one seat. (Roland Kaine {CDC} of Margibi lost to Oscar Cooper {UP}. Peter Coleman {CDC} of Grand Kru won against Blamo Nelson {APD}. Geraldine Doe-Sheriff {CDC} retained her seat in Montserrado. CDC will have eleven seats in the new House of Representative.

• NPP lost one seat but won four new seats. James Momo {NPP} of Cape Mount lost to Edward Dagoseh {UP}. Sando Dazoe Johnson {NPP} of Bomi won against Richard Devine {UP}. Dan Morias {NPP} of Maryland won against Gloria Musu Scott {UP}. Armah Zulu Jallah {NPP} of Gbarpolu won against Daniel Naatehn {UP}. John F.  Whitfield {NPP} of Grand Bassa won against Nathaniel Innis {LP}.  NPP will have three seats in the new House of Representative.

• UP lost two seats but gained four new seats in this election plus six sitting senators. Richard Devine {UP} of Bomi lost to Sando Johnson {NPP}. Daniel Naatehn {UP} of Gbarpolu lost to Armah Zulu Jallah {NPP}.                                                                                                               Edward Dagoseh {UP} of Cape Mount won against James Momo {NPP}.              George Tengbeh {UP} of Lofa won against Fomba Kanneh {ALCOP}.                       Oscar Cooper {UP} of Margibi won against Roland Kaine {CDC}.                             Alphonso Gaye {UP} of Grand Gedeh won against William Sandy {ULD}. 

All other former COTOL Senators are now part of UP, therefore UP technically has ten senatorial seats. Unity Party will have twenty five seats in the new House of Representatives.

• NUDP gained two new seats, both in Nimba. Thomas Grupee {NUDP} won against Adolphus Dolo {UP}.  Prince Johnson went from being an Independent to NUDP. Prince Johnson remains senior senator of Nimba.

• NDPL gained no new seat. This party has two sitting senators: Isaac Nyenabo {NDPL} of Grand Gedeh and Lahai Lansanah {NDPL} of Bomi.

• Ind. gained one new seat Mathew Jaye {Ind.) of River Gee won against Nathaniel William {LDP}. Franklin Siakor {Ind.) of Bong did not run and Prince Johnson {Ind.} of Nimba ran on NUDP ticket.

• NDC did not have a seat in the senate but now has one. Henry W. Yallah {NDC} of Bong replaced Franklin Siakor. Siakor did not run.

• APD has lost one net seat in the senate and regained one seat. Blamo Nelson {APD} of Grand Kru lost to Peter S. Coleman {CDC}. Joseph Nagbe {APD} of Sinoe retained his seat.  Joseph Nagbe is one of two senators to retain their seats; the other is Prince Johnson of Nimba. 

•  LDP gained one new seat in the senate. Dallas A. Gueh {LDP} of River Cess won against George Moore {UP}.  

• LP gained no new seat but lost two seats in the senate. Nathaniel Innis {LP} of grand Bassa lost to John F. Whitfield {NPP}. George Dee Moore {LP} of River Cess lost to Dallas A. Gueh {LDP}.Clarice Jah {LP} is now the only senator representing LP in the Liberian Senate.

Analysis:

The above will be the makeup of the new Liberian Senate, a total of ten political parties. As you can see, Unity Party made tremendous strides in acquiring the simple majority in the senate through a net gain of two additional seats. UP now have 1/3 of the senate seats which is still 1/3 short of the 2/3 majority needed to pass some major legislations. In the House of Representative, UP now have twenty five seats which is 34.2% of the house seats. There is a clear correlation in the numbers between the house and the senate (33.33% & 34.2%). While 44% of the Liberian people have confidence in the Madam Sirleaf, only 33.8% of the same have confidence her legislative candidates. The election of these candidates is indicative of two things, previous performance or lack of confidence in the previous candidates. Sadly, one of the newly elected Representatives of UP Mr. Nelson Wah Barh of Sinoe County died the night of his victory celebration. Peace is unto him.      

The biggest surprise of the 2011 senatorial race is NPP.  The National Patriotic Party lost one seat but won four new seats which yielded a net gain of three seats. NPP has two sitting senators plus the four new seats will be a total of six seats (20% of the seats in the senate). However, NPP won only three seats in the House which is 0.04% of the total seats in the House. This number says one thing. While 20% of Liberians likes the NPP Senatorial candidates, only .04% of them liked the party’s legislative candidates in this election. 

CDC’s performance in this election was a washout; it neither lost nor gained any new senate seats. This to me is abysmal considering a party that won 32% of the national votes but won but could not win more than 10% of the senate votes. CDC will have eleven seats which is 15% of the total seats in the House; eight of the eleven seats are from Montserrado County. Again 32% of the national vote but only 15% of the House vote does not transpose into popularity throughout the country.

The Brumskine Liberty Party (LP) and Mayson National Democratic Coalition (NDC were the worst performing parties in the October, 2011 general elections considering their media and general exposure. Together these two parties totaled 6% in the presidential election. NDC won one senate seat but LP won none. Together, the two parties will have two senators in the new senate which is equivalent to 0.06%. Senior Senator Clarice Jah of Margibi remains the only LP senator. Henry Willie Yallah of Bong County won the new senate seat for NDC. In the House, the two parties combine for a total of eleven seats which is 15%, which is respectable but not great.       

Independents are by far the biggest winners in this election, there will be two Independent senators in the senate. There was one sitting Independent senator, Senior Senator G. Milton Findley of Grand Bassa County and the newly elected Mathew N. Jaye of River Gee County. The cream of the crops lies in the House where Independents won nine seats which is 12.3% of the House seats. The real victory will be for the party that will seek to win all the Independents in both Houses.  

The NUDP is also another surprise for most pundits in this election. Senior Prince Johnson did not only get his candidate Mr. Thomas Semadahn Grupee elected to the senate for Nimba, but also managed to win six of the nine legislative districts in Nimba County for his candidates. Suffice it to say that all of NUDP’s representations of two senators and six House members are all from Nimba County. However, Mr. Johnson got respectable numbers throughout the length and breadth of the country. While Mr. Johnson got a whopping 68% of the Nimba votes, he also managed get third place votes in Montserrado, Gbarpolu, and River Gee Counties.

NDPL, APD and LDP managed to maintain 2, 2, and 1 senate seats respectively. While NDPL will not have any representation in the House of Representative, APD will have three representatives and LDP will have one. MPC, NRP and LTP will respectively have 2, 1 and 1 representations in the House of Representative but no representation on the Senate. While one may argue that these six parties collectively didn’t do well in the presidential election, they individually made tremendous strides in their various localities. Again, the victory of these parties in the legislative election in their various constituencies is indicative of the individual candidates approval ratings compared to their opponents.

Based on the data herein, one thing that remains clear in Liberia is division and lack of trust for people they don’t know. Many of the candidates in the legislative election are well known to their constituencies but the people either didn’t trust them or they trusted the other candidate more. The other thing that can be derived from this data is that people’s votes were not entirely based on party loyalty but rather individual loyalty. With the exceptions of Lofa, Nimba and Bomi counties where at least 75% of the seats were won by one party, the same is not true for the rest of the country. The Liberian people were divided not on party line, but on comfort level for the individual. CDC won 73.5% of the votes in the presidential election in Grand Gedeh, but failed to win one legislative seat in the same county. UP won a cumulative average of 66% of all the presidential votes in Cape Mount, Bomi, Gbarpolu and Lofa but won ten out of possible eighteen (55.6%) legislative seats in the region. In Margibi, UP won 44% of the presidential votes, it won four out of six (66.7%) legislatives in the same county. NUDP won 68 % of all the presidential votes in Nimba and seven out of ten (70%) legislative seats. This number means simply means 7/10 of all Nimba citizens believe and trust Prince Johnson and NUDP. The Presidential and legislative votes in all other counties were either evenly or sparsely spread around based on the peoples comfort level. As a country, we have a long way to go, many minds to win and many wounds to heal. 

Editor’s Note: Ahmed Sheriff lives in Pennsylvania and can be reached at basheriff@hotmail.com.


 

 
 
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