FrontPageAfrica Newspaper – EU Describes 2017 Elections As Crucial for Democracy in Liberia

Monrovia – The head of European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission to Liberia Ms. Maria Arena says the Presidential and House of Representatives elections scheduled for the October 10, 2017 are a crucial test for the democratic process in Liberia.

Report by Edwin Genoway – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

According to her, a peaceful transition from one elected President to another is important not only for Liberia but also as an example for the region.

She made the statement last Friday during a press conference held at Boulevard Palace in Monrovia.

The EU Election Observation Mission to Liberia was deployed at the invitation of the Liberian authorities and arrived on the 1st September with an advanced team of analysts in Monrovia. The mission will observe and assess the Presidential and House of Representatives Elections against national law, commitments and obligations for democratic elections deriving from international and regional human rights instruments, as well as good practices for democratic elections. Speaking at the news conference Ms Arena said, “We deployed already 20 long-term observers’ throughout the different regions in Liberia.”

“We observe and analyze the whole electoral process, including the legal framework, electoral administration, voter registration, nominations, campaigning, the conduct of the media, voting and the counting, the tallying of results and dispute resolution mechanisms,” said chief observer Arena. “After several meetings in Monrovia yesterday and today, I can see a good will from all sides to conduct the upcoming elections according to international standards.”

“Our long-term observers are following the electoral process in all 15 counties since last week; they met already various stakeholders and are doing comprehensive analyses in the regions. “We will observe the pre-election phase, during Election Day and we will stay in the country until the completion of a comprehensive assessment of the electoral process, including recommendations for future elections.

We keep to our mandate of non-interference and neutrality. Our mission here is to contribute with impartial and objective assessments to a democratic transition in Liberia,” she explained. Around Election Day additional 34 short-term observers will reinforce the EU Election Observation Mission which has more than 60 observers and analysts on the ground. All EU observers are bound by a code of conduct, which requires strict neutrality and non-interference. The EU Mission undertakes its work in accordance with the declaration of principles for International Election Observation.

It will publish its initial findings in a preliminary statement, which will be presented in a press conference shortly after Election Day. A final report with recommendation to the public will be presented at a later stage.

FrontPageAfrica Newspaper – Politics

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