ECOWAS Long-Term Election Observers (ELTEOs) have been deployed in Liberia’s 15 administrative Counties in continuation of their mandate to assess critical phases of the electoral process, pre- Election Day (October 10), and post-electoral period.
The majority of the 21 regional observers, including Secretariat Staff of the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC), are working in pairs, and travelled out of Monrovia on 27 and 28 September.
Some of them were airlifted by UN Mission – UNMIL plane, to the hinterland, to follow the electoral process, including through consultations of key stakeholders – preparations by electoral and security authorities, political parties, the judiciary, civil society, the media and other non-State actors at the County/District levels. They will also observe the actual voting, vote tallying at the Magisterial Centres, result management and prepare logistics for Short-Term Observers arriving next week.
The observers’ Core Team based in Monrovia will cover Montserrado, the largest County, and will be assisted by the ECOWAS Technical Team, to man the ECOWAS Election Situation Room, which will receive and analyse reports from observers in the field, and for proactive response to potential challenges.
The Long-Term Observers will be joined by 50-member ECOWAS Short-Term Observer Mission next week to form an integrated team led by Ghana’s immediate-past President John Dramani Mahama.
To underscore the importance which ECOWAS attaches to the October vote and the strengthening of democracy in Liberia and across the region, the ECOWAS
Technical Team on the presidential and legislative elections in Liberia, will be boosted with the presence of the ECOWAS Commission President Marcel de Souza and the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Mrs Halima Ahmed, among others.
In line with its tradition of dispatching observers to member States conducting elections, the Commission President had sent a fact-finding mission to Liberia last July.
Also, the President of the ECONEC governing board, Prof Mahmood Yakubu last July led an ECONEC Needs Assessment and Solidarity Missions to Liberia and Sierra Leone, which holds its own presidential polls in March 2018.
Meanwhile as part of its preparations, the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Liberia, has continued to receive key electoral materials for the elections, including ballot papers ordered from abroad.