On October 10, 2017, Liberians will exercise their Constitutional right in voting for a new set of leaders that will lead the country in its democratic development. As voters gear to vote, the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) congratulates all political parties, independent candidates and all Liberians for generally conducting political campaigns in a civil and peaceful manner. The ECC also wishes to commend the Liberian Government and its international partners for providing the financial resources needed to conduct these elections. The ECC also commends the National Elections Commission (NEC) for completing the Final Registration Roll (FRR), releasing the list of polling places, and distributing ballots and other election materials to the counties.
The ECC further commends the Liberia National Police (LNP) for the level of professionalism in providing security to all political parties and independent candidates during the campaign period. Furthermore, the ECC applauds the media for creating the space for political parties and independent candidates to share their campaign manifestos with the voters.
All of the above actions by the various stakeholders will consolidate Liberia’s political transition and fragile democracy if the elections are conducted in a peaceful, free, fair, transparent and credible manner. All stakeholders have a role to play in this process.
In keeping with its mandate, the ECC has observed all of the major components of the 2017 election process including voter registration, exhibition of the voters roll, political party primaries, the claims and objections period, the candidate nomination process, and the electoral campaign period.
On election day, the ECC will deploy 2,170 observers of different categories. The first category includes 89 long term observers, 2,000 short term observers deployed in all of the 73 electoral districts. Of the 2000 observers, 832 observers will be systematically deployed as Rapid Response Observers. 500 of these observers are part of a national sample based on a proportional distribution by district.
Given the high concentration of voters in Montserrado, the ECC is deploying additional Rapid Response Observers proportionally distributed over the county’s 17 electoral districts. Based on this deployment strategy and using a real time reporting system, the ECC will be able to report on the conduct of the polls across the country using representative information. The ECC is also deploying 42 tally center observers covering all 19 Magisterial Offices and the National Tally Center.
The ECC has established a data center that will be receiving real time information through coded text messages from the observers observing at particular polling places. The ECC will release periodic reports on the conduct of the elections based on the information received from its observers from the polling places observed.
As the nation prepares for and after election day, the ECC makes the following recommendations:
To safeguard the integrity of the process, the NEC must demonstrate a high degree of neutrality and transparency in the conduct, counting, tallying and announcement of results.
The NEC should treat all electoral petitions, disputes, and grievances in a transparent and timely manner.
That the NEC should provide detailed information to the public on how the system set up for the entry and transmission of results will operate.
That all political parties and independent candidates and their supporters should remain peaceful, abide by the laws and should refrain from announcing election results.
If any political party or independent candidate has grievances on the electoral process and results, they should follow the laws and procedures as enshrined in the electoral laws and regulations.
That the political parties and independent candidates deploy trained agents to observe the voting, closing, counting and tallying of results and to properly document their findings and in no time interfere with the process.
That the Supreme Court should expeditiously adjudicate all electoral related petitions, disputes and grievances.
That the LNP and other security agencies continue to demonstrate neutrality and professionalism in dealing with electoral related matters.
That the media demonstrate a high degree of professionalism on how it reports on the results of the elections.
That the media be conflict sensitive in reporting on the electoral process and its outcome.
That all registered voters should take advantage of this day to turn out and vote in a peaceful manner.
That all national and international observation missions coordinate their efforts in responding to issues arising from the electoral process and outcome.
The ECC is the largest civil society platform that observes all aspect of elections in Liberia. We work in partnership with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) with funding from USAID and OSIWA.