ECOWAS, AU Release Preliminary Findings On Tuesday’s Elections

Two regional bodies who are observing Liberia’s Elections have praised the citizens for conducting themselves well during Election Day although there were pockets of violence in some polling places.

The statements were released yesterday at the EJS Ministerial complex in Congo Town. Professor Attahiru Jega, Head of ECOWAS Election Observation Mission in its findings,acknowledged the challenges associated with infrastructure and their impact on the smooth conduct of the elections.

While the Mission urges the Government to put in measures to ameliorate the infrastructure conditions of the country, it also urges the Liberians Legislature and other critical stakeholders to consider the review of the relevant portions of the Constitution and the electoral law to allow for national elections to be held on dates during the dry season.

ECOWAS noted that the polling process generally proceeded smoothly and in a largely peaceful atmosphere. “The mission commends the sense of patriotism exhibited by polling staff andthe security forces,” the statement added.

The ECOWAS Election Observation Mission appealed to all stakeholders, particularly the political parties, candidates, and their supporters, as well as the security forces and the general citizenry to remain calm and patiently wait for the official declaration of the results by the National Elections Commission (NEC).

The ECOWAS Mission head said, “Similarly, the Mission wishes to remind candidates and political parties on thecommitments made within the framework of the Revised Farmington River to freely participate in the process, even though the long queues, congestions at the voting precincts and the slow pace of the process led to some grumbling and agitations by voters.

For her part, Phumzile Gloria MLAMBO-NGCUKA, Head of AU Election Observation Mission (Former Vice President of the Republic of South Africa) said they observed opening procedures at 24 polling places and that opening of polls was conducted in a generally peaceful environment in all counties observed.

“Security officials were present at all voting precincts throughout

the day, and AU observers described their presence as professional. However,

observers noted that the queues outside some polling places were disorderly and

sometimes chaotic” the AU observer’s head said.

She said that this was mostly caused by voters scrambling to identify their

allocated polling places.”

Madam MLAMBO-NGCUKA urged work with the Legislature to develop a special Act to disband all militants.

She said NEC needs to move to the next stage of the BVR where the technology will not only be used to register voters but also to verify voters on Election Day.

Also, she called politicians to abide by the commitments they have made in the Revised Farmington River Declaration in the post-election period and beyond.

“Use the existing elections dispute resolution mechanisms to address

grievances, and to do so within the provided timeframes and conditions,” he said.

The two groups did not observe any major issues aside from what was reported by the National Elections Commission.

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