Ecowas gives clean bill of health to Liberian election
APA-Monrovia (Liberia) - The head of the Ecowas 71-member election observation mission to Liberia, John Mahama has described the October 10 presidential and parliamentary elections as largely free and fair.
In a statement in Monrovia on Wednesday, Mr. Mahama said Liberians had seized the opportunity to exercise their sovereign right to decide who leads them in a mature and orderly manner that has vindicated the confidence of the international community in the process.
“This mission believes thus far, that with the environment in the lead up to the elections, voting day activities, sorting and counting of the ballots, Liberia is on track to achieve a credible poll,” Mahama, who is Ghana’s immediate-past President said as he read the mission’s preliminary declaration on Tuesday’s presidential and legislative elections.
By Thursday, results of the polls were being expected from across Liberia’s 15 administrative counties, where some 2.18 million registered voters cast their ballots in a generally peaceful environment.
The ECOWAS Mission urged Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC), “to approach the concluding phases of the process with fairness and transparency until the proclamation of the results.”
According to provisional results, the election is likely to go to a run-off between vice-president Joseph Boakai, of the ruling Unity Party and retired footballer George Weah, who are leading the race for the presidency.
The two are among 20 candidates seeking to replace out-going leader Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa’s first democratically elected female president.
984 candidates are contesting for the 73 seats at stake in the national assembly.
Liberia with an estimated population of 4.5 million has 2.18 million registered voters for the elections which were held in 2,080 polling centres nationwide.