LNP Deploys About 200 Men
-For District #15 By-Election Rerun
The Liberia National Police (LNP) has set up three large tents and deployed about two hundred armed men in District #15, Montserrado County in preparation for the representative by-election rerun in the area.
NEC announced on Monday that the rerun will take place on Wednesday, August 28, following probes into complaints and appeals by rival candidates. It can be recalled that recently following legal arguments and adjudication of electoral complaint filed by candidate Telia Urey, regarding the July 29 by-election in District #15, the National Elections Commission (NEC) Hearing Officer ruled that the electoral body conducts a rerun at six voting precincts (20 polling places) which were quarantined as a result of the probe.
Based on the pronouncement of NEC, there have been several clashes between supporters of Urey and rival candidate Abu Kamara within the District.
The police deployment also came in a wake of the recent political violence that created fear and insecurity among residents of the District.
On Saturday, August 18, supporters from both parties turned Logan Town Broad Street into a battle ground where they were throwing stones and engaging in fisticuffs.
The stone-throwing melee lasted a couple of minutes before the LNP support unit restored calm, but the incident left several vehicles and other property damaged.
Danecious Smallwood, Commander at the LNP Freeport Deport, told the Liberia News Agency on Monday that the police deployment is in a bid to curb the political violence of the most recent past in District #15.
Smallwood said that the police have noticed over a period of time that citizens within District #15 have been living in fear because of political violence between partisans of Abu Kamara of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change and Telia Urey of the All Liberian Party.
He said the police are obligated to protect lives and property, and will work harder in order for District #15 to have a peaceful election rerun.
Commander Smallwood urged residents to see the police as protectors of all and sundry, noting that they should cooperate with the police in order for the rerun to be violence-free.
He also wants for the people of District #15 to abide by the instructions of the state security and observed that the unusual presence of armed police in their District is a proactive measure that is in their interest and that of the State.
Smallwood, however, cautioned residents that the purpose of the men deployed in the streets is not to scare them, but rather reassure them that the State desires that things will go in the right direction.