MONROVIA – Two long-serving members of the House of Representatives, Rep Acarous Moses Gray and Speaker Bhoufal Chambers, have been voted out of the Legislature, according to results from Liberia’s just-ended presidential and legislative elections, as announced by the National Elections Commission (NEC).
Both men, who currently serve as lawmakers for Montserrado County 8th District and Maryland County 2nd District respectively, are members of the ruling party, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
Gray, a former Secretary General of the ruling party and a ranking member of the House of Reps, has been a very vocal and influential member of the Legislature. He has served two consecutive six-year terms, after he was first voted into office in 2011, and re-elected six years later.
The CDC lawmaker was defeated in the Montserrado legislative election by the candidate of the main opposition Unity Party (UP), Prince Toles, who garnered 9,249 votes, accounting for 32.82%, as opposed to Gray, who accumulated 9,165 votes, representing 32.52%.
Chambers, for his part, has spent 18 years being a lawmaker, since his first election to the Legislature in 2005. He was elected Speaker of the House of Reps in September 2018.
The outgoing Speaker was defeated in the Maryland 2nd District’s Representative election by a former student leader of the state-run University of Liberia, Anthony Williams, who accumulated 8,105 votes, accounting for 45.29%, while Chambers received 8,024 votes, representing 44.84% of the total valid votes cast of 17,895, a result that accounts for a variance of 81 votes or 0.89%, in Williams’ favor.
Chambers’ defeat by Williams, who much was not known about politically prior to the 10 October elections, marks a twist in the outgoing Speaker’s long-running political career that has spanned close to two decades, with18 years of service as lawmaker, including six years as Speaker of the Legislature.
Meanwhile, like Gray and Chambers, numerous sitting lawmakers were booted out of the Legislature by electorate across the country.
According to a long list of defeated lawmakers compiled by Smart News Liberia (SNL) from the just concluded legislative election, other incumbent lawmakers sacked by their constituents include Representatives Solomon George of Montserrado; Barshell CB Barshell, Montserrado; Alex Chersia Grant of Grand Gedeh; George S. Boley, Grand Gedeh; Suacoco Dennis, Montserrado; Jimmy Smith, Montserrado; Mariamu B. Fofana, Lofa County; Clarence Massaquoi, Lofa; Francis Sakila Nyumalin, Lofa; Beyan D. Howard, Lofa; Prince O. S. Tokpah of Nimba County; Roger S.W.Y. Domah, Nimba; Edward Kafia of Bong County; Vincent Willie, Grand Bassa County; and Byron Zanhwea of River Cess.
Others are: Senators A. Marshall Dennis of Grand Gedeh; Varney Sherman of Grand Cape Mount; Milton Teajeah of Sinoe; Conmaly Wesseh of River Gee; Jim Tornonlah of Margibi; Dr. Henrique Togbah of Bong; Francis Paye, River Cess; Morris Sehtuma, Bomi; Steve Zargo, Lofa; and Jonathan Kaipay of Grand Bassa County.
The rest are: Representatives Telberosa Tarponweh of Margibi; Emerson Kamara, Grand Cape Mount; Haja Fata Siryon of Bomi; Finda Gborie Lasanah of Bomi; Johnson Gwaikolo, Nimba County; Larry P. Younquoi of Nimba; Isaac Roland of Maryland County; Abraham V. Conneh, Montserrado; Joseph Sonwagbai of Nimba; Mary Karwor of Grand Bassa; and Alfred G. Koiwood of Gbarpolu; among others.