The Head of ECOWAS 71-member Election Observation Mission to Liberia, Ghana’s immediate-past President John Dramani Mahama said the responsibility for the success of Liberia’s October 10 presidential and parliamentary elections rests with all the country’s political actors, especially the citizens.
“The success of the electoral process depends on you the citizens of Liberia,” he said on arrival in Monrovia on 5th October, adding: “we will do our part but international observers are not magicians, we can support the process.”
To the politicians and candidates, the Head of Mission said: “there can only be one winner.”
“It is not only about winning, but how you react to losing matters,” he said, warning that “not a single drop of blood of any Liberian is worth the political ambition of any candidate.”
Former President Mahama, one of the few sitting African leaders that lost an election and conceded defeat to their opponents, counselled that “election is a process,” which should be allowed to run its normal course according set rules and without any violence.
‘We (ECOWAS) wish all the candidates well,” he said. “We will work hand in hand with all Liberians for credible and peaceful electoral process, as Africa countries move to consolidate democracy,” the Head of Mission affirmed.
He explained that 50 ECOWAS Short-term observers are joining the 21 Long-term observers already deployed across Liberia’s 15 administrative Counties to assess critical phases of the electoral process in line with the regional protocol on democracy and good governance, which mandates ECOWAS to assist member States holding elections, with the aim of entrenching democratic principles in the region.
Liberia’s National Elections Commission registered some 2.18 million voters from the country’s estimated population of 4.5 million, who will cast their ballots on October 10 to elect the nation’s 25th president.
Twenty candidates – 17 sponsored by political parties and three independents, are vying for the presidency, while some 986 candidates are contesting for the 73 Parliamentary seats at stake.
Africa’s first democratically elected female President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is not seeking re-election after serving two constitutionally allowed two terms from 2006.