Mahama: Liberia 'on track' to 'credible poll’
Head of ECOWAS Observer Mission, John Dramani Mahama, has said that Liberia is on the path of a credible election.
“The Mission believes thus far, that with the environment in the lead up to the elections, the voting day activities, counting and sorting of the ballots, Liberia is largely on track to achieve a credible poll,” former President Mahama said as he addressed the media in an interim statement on the Liberian election after the close of polls on Wednesday, October 11.
He said the mission noted timely distribution of election materials in sufficient quantities as well as early arrival of polling officers throughout the country “which allowed voting to commence within an average estimated period of about 25 minutes to the stipulated opening time of 8am in most of the polling centres visited”.
He was quick to add that “in few cases, voting started late beyond 9:30 am and some isolated instances much later than that”. He attributed the delays to late setup of the centres and understanding of voting processes and some cases late arrival of voting materials.
Mr Mahama said the Mission noted the discreet and non-obstructive presence of security as well as presence of different party agents at the polling stations, ranging from five to 15 across the country.
He said there were delays in the voting process as a result of inability of some voters to locate their voting centres and added that the electoral officers conducted themselves well, however some of them failed “to demonstrated adequate knowledge of their roles leading to a slowness of the voting process and long queues outside the voting precincts”.
Mr Mahama indicated that the Mission notes with concern “the isolated cases of violence during the electoral process in few parts of the country and therefore foments the efforts of the Liberian National Police Force for arresting the situation”.
He congratulated the electoral commission leadership and officers for the “professionalism demonstrated throughout the process”.
Mr Mahama also commended the security officers for their neutrality during the elections, especially in the identified flashpoints identified throughout the country.
He urged voters, candidates and leaders of the political party to put Liberia first in maintaining the peace that has prevailed so far, and urged to presidential candidates to respect the will of the people.
In the event of genuine grievances, the ECOWAS Observer Mission advised leaders to “resort exclusively to legal means to seek redress”.