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Int’l observers applaud Liberia on peaceful conduct of polls
 
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Fri, 17 Nov 2023   ||   Nigeria,
 

International observers have applauded Liberia for holding its presidential and legislative elections peacefully.

The presidential election had twenty candidates, including incumbent George Weah and his primary competitor, Joseph Boakai.

Both the Community of West African States and the African Union complimented the government and the election commission on the smooth conduct of the elections.

“Overall, the mission notes that the Liberians were able to freely exercise their constitutional rights in peaceful elections,” said the head of the African Union observer mission, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

“Therefore we implore all aggrieved parties to use the existing election dispute resolution mechanisms to address their grievances, and to do so within the provided time frames and condition, in order for Liberia to continue to improve its electoral process,” she said.

European Union observers were also happy, with some reservations.

They described it as a largely peaceful and vibrant campaign in which fundamental freedoms were mostly respected and during which the media had been able to work freely.

“The election day was calm and well conducted by the National Elections Commission and their staff nationwide,” said Andreas Schieder, the EU observation mission’s chief observer.

“It showed Liberians democratic commitment and was positively assessed by the EU election observation mission observers. But high turnout, cumbersome procedures, and the implementation slowed the conducting of the polls.”

The EU mission added that the counting phase was assessed less positively due to omission or incorrect implementation of several important procedural steps intended to ensure integrity of the count.

The election commission has begun reporting preliminary results, with the final outcome to be announced within 15 days of the vote.

If no candidate wins an absolute majority, a run-off will be held in early November.

The vote was the first to take place in Liberia since the United Nations ended its peacekeeping mission there in 2018.

 

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