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More Alleged Irregularities In R’Cess Election

More allegations of irregularities in the election result are emerging out of Rivercess County amidst the National Elections Commission’s (NEC) conclusion of the matter by a recount in the seven contending polling places.
On Saturday, the NEC mandated all parties’ presence at a recount conducted in Cestos which again witnessed Wellington Geevon Smith emerge as the winner but the contending candidate, Steve Tequah, has filed a Bill of Information on yesterday thus opening ‘cans of worms.’
In the nine-count Bill of Information, the petitioner stated that based on the irregularities, he is requesting for a rerun in Neezoin while a recount be carried on in all of the other polling places constituting the balance 104 polling places.
Tequah’s renewed contention is that out of the total 1166 invalid votes, there were huge valid votes accumulated for all candidates from the recount of only 228 of seven places and he accumulated 80 of those votes as valid therefore if the balance 104 polling places are recounted, it is obvious that the contentions contained in his petition will clearly show that more of his valid votes were declared invalid.
Tequah who is again seeking re-count in all the remaining polling places in the county alleged that during the conduct of the recount, it was also discovered that the polling place 1 with center code 36009 in Neezoin with closing seal number 274017, 474019 and 474016 were broken and replaced with new seal number 274022, 274034 and 274023.
Tequah explained that because the closing seal recorded was not that which was broken during the recount, to this irregularity, he requested for the complaint form but was informed by the Recount Manager, Paye Toekpu that there was no complaint form therefore he was constrained to file his complaint informally (hand written).
In a Bill of Information filed before the Board of Commissioners, Tequah said initially, the votes margin between him and the contending candidate was 116 but now that it is 54 from the just ended recount, he believes that his valid votes were denied throughout the county therefore he is requesting a recount in all of the remaining polling places.
He said the recount is the matter of verification and is not counterproductive to any candidate’s interest as every candidate accumulated additional votes in the just ended recount exercise.
Mr. Smith, a former superintendent of the county, was announced senator-elect since the January 8 election but was not certificated by the NEC as the Commission’s hearing officer was investigating the matter of irregularities in the counting and violence as filed by Mr. Tequah.
The Board of Commissioners then mandated a recount in seven of the contending 111 polling places but upon the completion of the hearing, the recount exercise was conducted and Mr. Smith emerged the winner with a 54 votes difference from his contender, Tequah.

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