Grand Gedeh County Representative Zoe Emmanuel Pennue has blamed his defeat in last month’s special senatorial election on “juju” (African science).Pennue, an independent candidate and Unity Party sympathizer came second to rival Marshall Dennis of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) with 3,273 to 6,148 votes.Addressing a news conference in Monrovia over the weekend, Pennue said although there was low turnout in the polls, Juju was largely responsible for his defeat.“This is the first election (in which) I was participating and the process didn’t end and news broke out about my death. I was busy campaigning in the county while rumors had it that I had had a terrible car accident and died in the process. That alone is the work of African science. Many of my supporters were overly zealous to vote during campaign time, but on voting day for no reason, thousands of them declined to go to the polls. As I speak to you now, many of them are regretting their action and still wondering what was really behind their weakness to vote on that day. I have participated in three elections, 2005, 2011 and 2014 and this is the first time such a thing has happened in the county.“Even with the irregularities in the election process in Grand Gedeh, I would have still beaten the ten candidates in the race had it not been for juju,” declared Pennue.However, ZEP, as he is widely known, announced that despite being in possession of substantial evidences of voting irregularities, filing a lawsuit in protest is the least on his mind.Grand Gedeh County is bigger than his political ambition, said Pennue, adding that he “welcomed the results and pledged his unflinching support to the leadership, no matter who won”.He praised his kinsmen for expressing their desire through the ballot box, adding, “I am grateful that I came second in the race of 11 candidates.”What that means, he pointed out, “is that the people of Grand Gedeh and my district in particular, still love and want me to continue to represent them in the National Legislature.”“I am happy that no one won me in my district, which means that I remain popular among my people,” asserted ZEP.He called for unity among the citizens and politicians of the county, stressing, “Election is over and it is time to work in unity and with one voice in pushing the agenda of Grand Gedeh at every level.”Interestingly, before the election ZEP bragged of defeating anybody that stood in his way in the county. He boasted of having the key to the county and it was only a matter of time before he was named senator.When asked what went wrong that caused him to go down that fast, Pennue again said; “I still have the popularity, but this election was a surprise.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the global passenger traffic results for March showing that demand rose by 5.3%, compared to the same month last year. Capacity grew at 5.9% which pushed the average load factor down by half a percentage point to 79.6%.March performance shows a moderate slowdown on the year-on-year growth rates recorded in January (7.2%) and February (8.6%) even after adjusting for the leap-year impact in February. Demand for international traffic grew significantly more quickly (6.2%) than that for domestic travel (3.7%).Tony Tyler, Director General and CEO, IATA, said, “While in line with long-term trends, demand growth in March represented a slow-down compared to January and February. It is premature to say whether this marks the end of the recent very strong results. We do expect further stimulus in the form of network expansion and declines in travel costs. However, the wider economic backdrop remains subdued.”March international passenger demand rose 6.2% compared to March 2015, which was a decline compared to the 9.1% increase in February. Airlines in all regions recorded growth. Total capacity climbed 6.9%, causing load factor to slip 0.5% percentage points to 78.5%.Domestic demand rose 3.7% in March compared to March 2015, a dramatic slowdown from the leap year-aided 7.8% growth recorded in February. This was driven primarily by performance in the two largest markets, the US, which accounts for two of every five domestic passengers and China. Domestic capacity climbed 4.3%, and load factor retreated 0.4 percentage points to 81.6%.