Special Awards In Pictures

-The Struggle For True Representation In Parliament
A new electoral law that took into account the demarcation of political districts into electoral districts across the country, brought to bear huge burden on the residents of one of the newly created districts, District 16 in Montserrado County, to find true representation at the level of the national legislature.

Then District 12 before the new demarcation was conducted, the struggle has been distinguishing between good and evil in terms of electing a passionate and people-centered character, not necessarily a highly educated character, who would shoulder the development needs of the communities it constitutes.

As District 12 and now District 15, this large stretch of terrain which comprises some of the slum communities in Monrovia including New Kru Town, Duala, Monboe Town, St. Paul Bridge as well as part of Caldwell, has been under the control of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) whose candidate, Edward Forh, was elected in 2005 and 2011.

Again with another elections in the offing – October 10 being the date set aside– the list of aspirants for the single slot for the so-called ‘abandoned district’ is long and somehow bemoaning for the voters - residents who may line up on elections day to choose one of the numerous candidates who are brandishing almost the same agenda.

The long list

On the long list of people passionate about changing the indigent development outlook of the district are current Rep. Forh who was defeated last month at his party’s controversial convention, Cllr. Wisner Doryen also defeated in his party’s primaries and later joined the Redemption Democratic Congress (RDC), Bishop Menaseh Conto who formerly wanted to run on the ticket of the CDC, Dixon Seboe of the Congress for Democratic Change, Satiah A. Satiah of the Liberia People’s Party, Archie Sarnoh of the Movement for Progress Change, and one Robert Teah of the Unity Party.

Besides the listed names considered as forerunners, other sons and daughters of the District whose names were not available up to press time are making preparations to sell themselves to the voters when campaign officially opens.

Who’s who?

Until the results are announced after voting on October 10, who represents District 16 at the National Legislature to take the burden of its tonnage of developmental needs remains incognito, but no doubt it will be someone the voters will find fit and faithful in fulfilling their aspirations and wishes.

Edward Forh:

Then a professor at one of the leading Universities in Monrovia and little known to most of the over twenty thousand residents of the District, Forh was a shadow in his own corner running a daycare learning center in Point Four before the occurrence of the ‘political revolt’ in the District when the Congress for Democratic Change dramatically burst onto the scene.

With few candidates in the race on the tickets of nearly little known parties and using his involvement in molding the minds of the young ones to give them good future, Forh galloped on the unstoppable popularity of the CDC in crushing his opponents to defeat, becoming the first in a rearranged electoral district to be elected after Ben Parten of the National Patriotic Party of then President Charles Taylor.

In a polarized district of people with divergent political orientations and views, Forh’s rating became a focal point of debate in terms of his development activities and association with the electorates.

On the back of contentions about Forh’s failure to make good his promises along with soothsayers’ prognostication of a doom, he was forecasted for loss but the popular political weight of the CDC brought to bear was strong enough to keep him politically alive.

The incumbent who in the most recent times has shown enormous will for developments in the community such as the 9-storey school building, the pavement of the stretch of road connecting part of New Kru Town to Duala and the town hall in Tweh Farm, St. Paul Bridge is facing strong challenge once again from old and new comers in the race. Besides general issues he has to contend with, Rep. Forh’s situation is compounded by the absence of the CDC from his campaign as he parted company following his controversial defeat to now CDC candidate, Dixon Seboe.

Along with his supporters, those who longed after his style of leadership, he is hoping for ‘legislative hard trick’ but it seems highly unlikely for him not only because of defection from the CDC but also for the “I eat, you eat” stain he still carries.

In a recording aired on local radio reportedly released by then Montserrado County Grace Kpan, he was heard persuading her to use her office and influence to divide money intended for the district development, enticingly saying “you eat, I eat,” meaning he should be given some of the money as well as the woman concerned.

Wisner Doryen:

A longtime resident of District 16 and devoted Methodist with the traditional Trinity United Methodist Church, Doryen currently resides in St. Paul Bridge from where he wants to test his popularity and bring Rep. Forh’s twelve years run at the National Legislature.

Initially lost in the primaries of is traditional party, an upbeat aspirant Doryen told this paper Sunday “I am still in the race; we are now in the Jehovah style of reaching out to our people.”

Ruling any of the candidate will be a mistake because in a political race like the one in the making, every candidate is as important as all because it is only the voters that make the final case at the polls. As such, Doryen, a counselor at law, is a bone to contend with too, considering his political base.

Dixon Seboe:
Once a resident of the District 16 but now a stranger as he reportedly no longer resides there, he is a towering figure, one of those tipped as forerunners in the race, to cause upset for the rest of the candidates/aspirants who want to change the outlook of the District, or to begin from where current Rep. Forh will stop.

Running on the ticket of the CDC, the party that has encouraging popularity in New Kru Town, St. Paul Bridge, Seboe who himself is said to have a strong base with residents through his openness and free-handedness may seem a bit close to the seat, though in elections it is not the ‘2+2 = 4’ type of fixed mathematical answer.

Satiah A. Satiah:

A burgeoning political figure with all the zest and exuberance to change the history about District 16 being an abode of old-folks leaders, Satiah is a new name in the political circle of the established elites of the District, somehow carrying the ‘unknown’ credentials with him.

Being the youngest in the race in the District makes huge difference between him and the rest of the guys, apart from being a candidate for one of the highly venerated parties in the political lineup. As known from time past and now, the Liberian People’s Party carries the emblem of hope of the Liberian. 

people as it is in the picture for standing up against the ills to which Liberia became a global distraction. A member of the District 16 cognoscenti, Satiah is connected to thousands of the young forces in the district who desire change, change in the context of retiring the old guys for a younger one. In consideration of his connection to the LPP which brags of some of Liberia’s best and erudite characters, he brings to the table worth of understanding of the political dynamics, and moreover young people are seen as true representation of the missing links.

Robert Teah:

A resident of New Kru Town, a populated community in District 16, Teah is a near household name who on two occasions failed to make it to the finished line in 2005 and 2011 on the ticket of the ruling Unity Party.

The unexpectedly two crushing defeats at the hand of CDC’s Forh at the time the UP was riding on the tidal wave to victory for the presidential race proved disdained for his prestige and even brought his’ credibility to the limelight. Nevertheless, he is one of the men to watch for given that two successive losses might have reinvigorated him with new strategies.

A proprietor of one of the outstanding daycares in the Borough of New Town, a big player in District 16, Teah is determined to follow up from where he stopped, making new friends, opening new grounds that could prove detrimental for his opponents in the race. “This time, we will carry Robert Teah; for me I will vote for him,” remarked a registered voter who sees Teah as a truly devoted character, someone with the passion to help the District and his hungry-looking residents.

Bishop Conto:

Beaten by Rep. Forh in 2011 by few votes, the man of God who is tipped in some quarters of the District as the next lawmaker, is showing resilience amid a stain on his character, having been jailed sometimes ago for allegedly misapplying entrusted properties.

First tipped to run on the ticket of the CDC as he portrayed on his house where the seal of the CDC is printed, the Bishop of Mission for Today has positioned himself as a true servant of the people, though his pastoral colleagues are using their pulpits to scold his decision to venture into politics. With his own interpretation for wanting to go the House, “the Government shall be on the shoulder of the church,” he is desperately presenting himself to the voters, engaging the district developmentally evidenced by the construction of a radio station, Bushrod Broadcasting System, located in St. Paul Bridge.

Archie Sarnoh:
A onetime diehard partisan of the CDC, Sarnoh defected to the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), claiming fraud in the process leading to the selection of candidates on the ticket of the party.

An activist who came to prominence for ridiculing some of government’s poorly-read policies, he working tooth and nail to make inroads and cause the greatest shock in election history just as Donald Trump shocked the world when he defeated highly favored Hilary Clinton in the US elections of 2016.

So, who is who on the long list of candidates for the District 16 legislative slot will be decided soon, eventhough the District 16 has since been decided.

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