A Nation’s Democratic Exercise
Liberia, a nation steeped in history, is set to embark on a significant democratic journey this Tuesday, October 10, 2023. Over 2.4 million voters, with an equal gender balance, will cast their ballots to elect not only their President but also fifteen Senators and seventy-three members of the House of Representatives.
In this diverse electoral landscape, 1,025 candidates, including 2 women, have been deemed eligible to vie for various positions, setting the stage for a momentous day in Liberian democracy.
Casting Votes Across the Nation
With an extensive network of polling stations numbering 5,890, strategically spread across Liberia’s 15 counties, citizens are gearing up to exercise their fundamental right to vote. Consequently, the elections hold the promise of being a true reflection of the nation’s aspirations for a brighter future.
ECOWAS Observers on the Ground
In the early hours of the day, a distinguished delegation led by Prof. Attahiru JEGA, head of the Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) deployed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), made their presence felt.
Accompanied by key figures such as Ambassador Abdel-Fatau Musah, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, and H.E. Ambassador Josephine NKRUMA, ECOWAS Resident Representative to Liberia, the delegation visited several voting centers and polling stations in Monrovia, the nation’s capital. Their mission: to closely observe the opening and voting process of the elections.
The ECOWAS delegation’s journey took them to various polling stations, including Matilda Newport High School and William V.S Tubman Silver Jubilee Elem. & Jr. High School. They also visited situation rooms representing youth, women, civil society, and ECOWAS, where they received comprehensive briefings on the intricacies of voting operations.
Democracy in Action
In the afternoon, Prof. Attahiru JEGA and his team ventured to polling stations such as the West Point Administrative Building, Police Station, Central Mosque Elementary School, Clara Town Central School, and Famina Islamic School, among others.
What they found was a testament to the dedication of Liberian citizens, with a high voter turnout and individuals eagerly waiting to fulfill their civic duty.
A Call for Peace and Tolerance
Assessing the day’s events and scrutinizing the conduct of the elections based on reports from ECOWAS observation teams, Prof. Attahiru JEGA observed that the polls began promptly with no significant incidents reported. He commended the serene and well-organized atmosphere prevalent at the various voting centers.
In his plea to Liberians, he encouraged them to sustain this spirit and enable the National Elections Commission (NEC) to effectively supervise the voting process. He underscored the paramount importance of fostering a climate of peace, tolerance, and consensus during this crucial period.
International Observers Bear Witness
About 8,441 national and international observers have received accreditation from the National Electoral Commission, representing entities such as ECOWAS, the African Union (AU), the European Union, WANEP, Yiaga Africa, the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (RESEAO/ECONEC), and the Association of Women and Liberian Civil Society.
Awaiting the ECOWAS Mission’s Report
Following the compilation of reports from the 120 observers deployed by ECOWAS, Prof. Attahiru JEGA, the head of the ECOWAS Electoral Mission, is scheduled to hold a press conference. This will provide a comprehensive overview of the electoral process and its outcome, shedding light on this historic day for Liberia and its democratic future.