MONROVIA 28 December 2017 – On 26 December Liberian citizens finally proceeded to exercise their right to vote and to elect their new President. The EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) Chief Observer, Maria Arena, highlighted: “Election Day was calm and benefited from organisational improvements made by the National Electoral Commission (NEC). Our 74 election observers reported from over 339 observations in rural and urban areas in all counties.”
EU EOM observers assessed the conduct of the voting process in observed polling stations as very good. The additional deployment of queue controllers and their training had a positive impact on election procedures in and outside the polling places, facilitating the exercise of the right to vote.
“The EU Election Observation Mission welcomes above all, the resilience of Liberian voters. They have shown, through their patience an unwavering commitment to democratic principles. They turned up on Election Day in large numbers and exercised their right to vote peacefully. The EU EOM values the contribution from all stakeholders to the election process. Their engagement with the Mission has made our work possible” – stated the Chief Observer.
Despite a longer period than expected between the two rounds of the Presidential election, Liberian citizens, institutions and political parties forged a path to the fulfilment of their democratic rights and responsibilities. The run-off election of 26 December, though held later than anticipated, is a milestone achievement for Liberian democracy.
“An undeniable aspect of this significant election is the collective effort that underpinned its realisation. Voters, Civil Society, Liberian institutions, in particular the NEC, the judiciary and the Liberian National Police, the domestic observers and ECOWAS all contributed to make this important step for Liberia’s democracy possible”, the Chief Observer concluded.
The EU Election Observation Mission has been following the election process since 1 September, observing all its aspects and engaging with different stakeholders: political parties, national authorities, media, civil society and others. It has also followed the complaints and appeals process and, throughout, maintained a presence at key hearings at the NEC and the Supreme Court. The EU EOM will, following the conclusion of the election process, present its findings and recommendations in a final report, which will be published and presented to the Liberian authorities and public.