AND WAIT FOR NEC FINAL ANNOUNCEMENT
Monrovia, Liberia – The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) has called on political parties and Liberians to keep calm as they await the final result from the National Election Commission of Liberia. The inernational body pleads with Liberians and political parties to stop early celebration and jubilation.
Commenting on several issues concerning Liberia’s 2023 presidential run-off election, EISA said they launched a Long-Term Election Observation Mission (IEOM) at the invitation of Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC) to enhance the integrity of the 2023 presidential and legislative elections. The mission deployed 12 Long-Term Observers (LTOs) for pre-election activities, covering the Biometric Voter
Registration process. For the presidential run-off election, 30 observers were deployed to 11 counties.
The mission noted substantial good practices as follows: NEC’s proactiveness in addressing issues from the first round, including steps to address invalid votes, updating the tabulation manual, providing refresher training to election officials, and deploying materials ahead of time in advance of the run-off. The improved format of the ballot paper clarifying voting choices provided enough marking space for indicating a preferred choice. The Use of the FRR hard copies by party agents to verify voters in some areas demonstrated improved transparency of the voting process. Improved coverage during both rounds of the election by the joint security, given that the provision of security was the sole responsibility of internal security agencies.
The EISA IEOM reported a generally calm and peaceful environment with no electionrelated incidents. Opening procedures were largely observed at polling precincts observed, highlighting timely openings, the full complement of staff, and ease of access for authorised persons. The secrecy of the vote was maintained through well-arranged polling booths. Polling staff, security agents, and election monitors demonstrated professionalism and knowledge of their roles, contributing to a smoothly conducted election day.
The EISA-IEOM noted a shift in the campaign strategies, as the runoff campaign commenced on October 24, 2023, and spanning just 18 days unfolded with a relatively subdued atmosphere, characterized by limited campaign-related activities. However, the two political parties, the CDC, and the UP, deployed teams for house-to-house campaigning to convince voters through direct engagements.
The Mission commends the collaboration between the LNP and the Joint Security Council (JSC), ensuring the safety of voters, candidates, and election officials. Security forces responded promptly to electoral fraud and voter intimidation incidents; however, stakeholders highlighted a need for feedback on the status of cases. Budgetary constraints and logistical difficulties were noted by security officials managing election deployments. The IEOM notes that there is a need for the state security apparatus to remain neutral in the provision of security for political candidates during campaigns.
EISA promises to issue a final comprehensive report following the announcement of results and post-election day complaints and appeals. The final report they say will form the basis of the EISA IEOM’s
contribution towards the consolidation of democracy in Liberia. Through its core team, the
Mission will maintain its presence in Liberia until May 2024