Yahsyndi Mollie Martin-Kpeyei 299 votes
Somo Hawa Hubbard- Barsir 296 votes
Nathaniel Tamba – 80 votes
The conference room of Salem Missionary Church in Lilburn, GA was on Saturday jammed-packed with Liberians and a non-Liberian observer, the Central African, Mr. Tedonzong Tchoutezo, President of the African Association of Georgia, who gathered there to observe and do a recount of the November 8 disputed ballots.
After a highly contested election that gave Yahsyndi Mollie Martin-Kpeyei a slim victory (299 – 294) votes over her closest rival, Somo Hawa Hubbard-Barsir, the defeated candidate and her team did not accept the results.
With such close votes between the two presidential candidates, the defeated candidate and her team, from day one, protested the original results and asked for a recount.
The overwhelming call for a recount put enormous pressure on the (winning) Kpeyei team to accept a recount, as some in the community also wanted a recount. The clarion call for a recount also put enormous pressure on LAMA’s Independent Elections Commission.
The community didn’t just ask for any recount; they wanted an independent and thorough recounting process that will heal the rift in an already divided community.
The Kpeyei team, which did not participate in the recounting process, was conspicuously absent.
However, the recounting process hadn’t yet started when the Somo Hawa Hubbard-Barsir (entire) team continued with their incessant back and forth disagreement over the electoral process.
The elections commission, cognizant of time and our collective patience, suggested to the group that they leave the room to discuss among themselves and come up with a leader who will speak for the group.
Mr. Aaron Von Williamson, who was chosen by the Hubbard-Barsir team to speak for the group angrily charged that “the process is tainted, the Elections Commissioners are unprepared, registration ballots were unavailable during the elections, some people did not register, and some people made fake ID cards to vote.” Mr. Williamson did not provide any documentary, video or visual evidence to prove his allegations.
On those grounds, he demanded that the elections be nullified. He also called for another elections, and he told his audience that his team will not participate in the recount.
After Mr. Williamson made those scathing remarks, some in the Hubbard-Barsir team including Mr. Williamson immediately left the room and did not return.
Even though the Hubbard-Barsir team was present before the recounting process started, an obviously angry Somo Hawa Hubbard-Barsir, who did not mince a word, told the Elections Commissioners that the “blood of the community is on your hand.”
Only the candidate alone is able to clarify her statement. Her running mate, Thomas Awadjie stayed and represented the Somo Hawa Hubbard-Barsir team.
As anticipated and to the winning team’s displeasure, a recount of all the ballots went on as promised by Chairman Salifu Kamara and his Independent Elections Commission, for over three hours on Saturday, November 21, 2015.
It wasn’t an easy task as the actual recount process tested the patience of everybody involved, as tempers and emotions flared again and again before and during the counting.
At the end of the day, Yahsyndi Mollie Martin-Kpeyei was again declared the winner of the November 8 elections.
Yahsyndi Mollie Martin-Kpeyei received 299 votes to Somo Hawa Hubbard- Barsir 296 votes. Nathaniel Tamba received a total of 80 votes.