Mahama, Head of ECOWAS Observation Mission Congratulates Liberians for Successful Poll


GHANA’s former President John Mahama, Head of ECOWAS Election Observation Mission has congratulated Liberians for the successful December 26, presidential run-off vote and urged them to sustain the level of enthusiasm for national reconstruction and consolidation of democracy in the country.

“Liberians have made themselves and the ECOWAS region proud and with the election fever now over, every Liberian should see the task of nation building and development as a collective patriotic responsibility,” the Head of Mission said in Monrovia on Friday.

While assuring that ECOWAS would continue to standby Liberia and its people, he also called on the international community to provide the country with more support.

The Ghanaian Statesman and his team attended the conference where the National Elections Commission, NEC, Liberia on Thursday announced provisional results of the election giving candidate George Weah 61.5 percent of the vote and his rival the out-going Vice President Joseph Boakai 38.5 percent with 98.1 percent of the ballot tally processed.

He urged the candidates to be magnanimous in victory and gracious in accepting the will of the Liberian people.

“Election is a process, which precedes the much higher task of governance that requires the positive contribution of all political actors and stakeholders,” said the former President, who also headed the ECOWAS Observation Mission to the first round vote of 10th October.

In its Preliminary Declaration on 27th December, the ECOWAS Mission expressed its satisfaction with the peaceful conduct of the run-off vote noting that the process up to the counting of ballots was also transparent and credible.

The Mission congratulated NEC for its professionalism and the measures it had put in place with the support of an ECOWAS Technical Team, to improve the electoral process.

Liberians and the international observers have commended the work of the ECOWAS Technical Team, led by Kwado Afari-Gyan, former Chair of Ghana’s Electoral Commission  with IT experts from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Nigeria, for their invaluable recommendations and especially, for cleaning up the contentious voter’s register for the run-off election.

An ECOWAS Commission delegation, which provided support to the Mahama-led Observation Mission was led by Halima Ahmed, commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, and also included Ambassador Babatunde Ajisomo, ECOWAS Special Representative to Liberia, and Remi Ajibewa, director of Political Affairs.

– Dec. 29, 2017 @ 10:57 GMT |

ECOWAS Observer Mission commends Liberians for Peaceful October 10 Vote


JOHN Mahama, head of the ECOWAS 71-member Election Observation Mission to Liberia,  has commended Liberians for seizing the opportunity of the October 10, crucial elections to “exercise their sovereign right to decide who leads them.”

“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, Ghana’s immediate-past President said in Monrovia on Wednesday while reading 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.”

It also called “on the political leaders, the candidates, their followers and the media to maintain the same posture of restraint, serenity and patriotism until the collation and announcement of the results.”

“The ECOWAS Observation Mission urges NEC to expedite action on the proclamation of the provisional results to prevent further anxiety with the polity,” Mahama urged.

“In light of the few challenges identified by the ECOWAS Observers in the field,” the Mission made seven recommendations, including the need for relevant and early training of electoral officials, and provision of adequate financial resources to NEC in a timely manner to facilitate its operations.

The ECOWAS Mission also recommended timely voter verification exercise to be conducted by NEC in accordance with the law, to enhance voter identification; improvement in the Final Registration Roll, FRR, by arranging names in alphabetical order and ensuring that photos match serial numbers of voters.

There should also improvement in the provision for vulnerable groups, including pregnant women, nursing mothers, persons with disability and the aged, by giving them priority to cast their votes, the Declaration said.

The Mission “noted with concern the isolated cases of violence during the electoral process in some parts of the country,” and commended the security forces, especially the Liberia National Police for arresting the situation.

It specifically congratulated the NEC leadership and officials for the “professionalism demonstrated throughout the electoral process,” and also lauded the UN Mission in Liberia, UNMIL, for its support to NEC, particularly with the airlift of electoral material to Counties that are inaccessible by road.

The Mission equally “congratulated the candidates, their parties, supporters and the electorate for their maturity during the campaign and the voting process.”

It appealed to all candidates to put Liberia first by maintaining peace, and “to gracefully accept the will of the people and in the event of genuine grievances to resort exclusively to legal means to seek redress.”

Among dignitaries at the event, were the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Liberia Farid Sarif, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Office in West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Head of the African Union Observation Mission to Liberia Erastus Mwencha, and Prof. Mahmood Yakubu President of the governing board of the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions, ECONEC, and chair of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

There were also representatives of other International Observer Groups, including the European Union (EU), Carter Center, Open Society Initiative for West Africa, OSIWA, U.S. National Democratic Institute, NDI, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, IFES, Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa, EISA, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding, WANEP, Mano River Union, MRU, and the Women’s Situation Room, working for peace and non-violent elections in Africa.

Twenty candidates – 17 sponsored by political parties including the only female, and three independent flag bearers, are seeking to replace out-going Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, while more than 980 candidates are contesting for the 73 parliamentary seats at stake through the October 10 elections.

Liberia has an estimated population of 4.5 million with 2.18 million registered voters and the elections were held in 2,080 Polling Precincts (Centres) with 5,390 Polling Places (Stations) nationwide.

– Oct 12, 2017 @ 14:17  GMT /





Mahama Urges Patience, Calm as Liberians Troop to Vote


LIBERIAN voters turned out in large numbers to elect their new president and parliamentarians on Tuesday, October 10, with John Mahama, the head of ECOWAS 71-member Election Observation Mission, appealing for calm as the vote kicked off to a slow start.

“In the areas visited, we observed that the process is slow with long queues and voting starting around 8.30 am, (30 minutes behind schedule) at some stations, and some potential voters not finding their names on the voters’ list,” Mahama said.

However, the head of ECOWAS Mission, who set out before the opening of polls by 8 am, and had visited four voting precincts in the Montserrado and Margibi Districts by 12.20pm, explained that the process was picking up gradually with more than 100 voters having cast their ballots in some stations out of an average of 500 registered voters per polling station.

The head of Mission, who was accompanied on the tour by Halima Ahmed, the ECOWAS Political Affairs, Peace and Security and Remi Ajibewa, the Director of Political Affairs, expressed the hope that more voters would have been able to cast their ballots by the close of voting at 6 pm.

The voting precincts visited included those at the William Tubman High School, Sinkor, Monrovia, the Booker T. Washington Institute at Kakata, and the Carvers Mission Academy in Margibi.

Marcel de Souza, the ECOWAS Commission president; Babatunde Ajisomo,  an ambassador and the ECOWAS special representative in Liberia and Mahmood Yakubu, president of the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions, ECONEC, and chair of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, were also on the field observing the balloting in different Districts in the Montserrado County.

Each polling station had agents of political parties monitoring the voting with security personnel also in place.

Other ECOWAS Long-and Short-Term observers were following the electoral process in Liberia’s 14 other Counties, with a Core Team in Monrovia at the Situation Room receiving reports from the field for analysis and proactive responses to emerging situations.

Liberia has an estimated population of 4.5 million and the National Elections Commission, NEC, registered some 2.18 million voters who are casting their bolts to elect the country’s 25th president and MPs.Voting in Liberia Tuesday, 10 Oct 2017

The polls are being conducted in 2,080 polling precincts (Centres) with 5,390 polling places (Stations)

It is the first election in post-conflict Liberia that the national authorities are in charge of security without the support of the UN Mission, UNMIL, which has been maintaining peace in the country for the past 14 years.

– Oct 10, 2017 @ 17:00 GMT /

President Sirleaf receives head of ECOWAS Observer, Commits to Successful Polls


LIBERIA’S out-going President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has reaffirmed her commitment to successful transfer of power through credible and peaceful elections onOctober 10, towards consolidation of democracy in the country.

“We are confident that the elections will go well; all things considered, the elections commission and the security forces are ready,” the Liberian leader told visiting former Ghanaian President John Mahama, Head of the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission to Liberia, in her office 6th October.

She said the major drive of the electoral process “is the enthusiasm of the Liberian people to break the taboo,” of inability for peaceful transfer of political power.

President Johnson-Sirleaf, who is not seeking re-election after constitutionally allowed two terms, noted that there had been no major skirmishes in the run-up to the presidential and parliamentary elections, with political parties having signed up to the Farmington Peace Declaration.

For possible post-election issues, she said the Judiciary was on standby, while a National Inter-Religious Committee had been established for mediation.

The Liberian leader expressed gratitude to ECOWAS for its continued support and she specifically mentioned the ECOWAS Special Representative to Liberia Ambassador Babatunde Ajisomo, for his invaluable counsel and regular consultations.

“We have seen many observer missions, but we are always encouraged by friends who know us better,” the president told the ECOWAS delegation.

The Head of Mission, Mahama, assured the Liberian leader that “we are here to support and work with Liberians to get it right, for peaceful and credible elections.”

“Liberia is Africa’s oldest Republic and we are hopeful that things are going well for the consolidation of democracy in our region and continent,” former President Mahama affirmed, and called on all stakeholders to conduct themselves in a patriotic and responsible manner.

He was accompanied on the visit by the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs Halima Ahmed, Ambassador Ajisomo, some ECOWAS senior staff and observers.

Speaking at an earlier meeting with Commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Liberia, led by its chairman, Jerome Korkoya, the head of ECOWAS mission repeated his message of goodwill and peace.

He urged all political actors to be guided by the national interest and always seek redress through the legitimate legal system, instead of resorting violence.

Chairman Korkoya assured the ECOWAS delegation that the Commission was ready to deliver credible elections on October 10.

In line with the regional protocol on democracy and good governance, the President of the ECOWAS Commission Marcel de Souza, who had earlier sent a fact-finding mission to Liberia in July, dispatched 71 observers to the country, made up of 21 Long-term members, who have been on ground since 15 September, and 50 Short-term observers, who arrived this week.

The ECOWAS Mission, part of international observer groups assessing the electoral process against international standards, will issue its Preliminary Declaration on October 11.


– Oct 9, 2017 @ 08:30 GMT /


Mahama, Head of ECOWAS Election Observation Mission charges Liberians to ensure Successful Vote


THE Head of ECOWAS 71-member Election Observation Mission to Liberia, Ghana’s immediate-past President John Dramani Mahama said the responsibility for the success of Liberia’s October 10, presidential and parliamentary elections rests with all the country’s political actors, especially the citizens.

“The success of the electoral process depends on you the citizens of Liberia,” he said on arrival in Monrovia on October 5, adding: “We will do our part but international observers are not magicians, we can support the process.”

To the politicians and candidates, the head of Mission said: “there can only be one winner.”

“It is not only about winning, but how you react to losing matters,” he said, warning that “not a single drop of blood of any Liberian is worth the political ambition of any candidate.”

Former President Mahama, one of the few sitting African leaders that lost an election and conceded defeat to their opponents, counselled that “election is a process,” which should be allowed to run its normal course according set rules and without any violence.

‘We (ECOWAS) wish all the candidates well,” he said. “We will work hand in hand with all Liberians for credible and peaceful electoral process, as Africa countries move to consolidate democracy,” the head of Mission affirmed.

He explained that 50 ECOWAS short-term observers are joining the 21 long-term observers already deployed across Liberia’s 15 administrative Counties to assess critical phases of the electoral process in line with the regional protocol on democracy and good governance, which mandates ECOWAS to assist member States holding elections, with the aim of entrenching democratic principles in the region.

Liberia’s National Elections Commission registered some 2.18 million voters from the country’s estimated population of 4.5 million, who will cast their ballots on October 10 to elect the nation’s 25th president.

Twenty candidates – 17 sponsored by political parties and three independents, are vying for the presidency, while some 986 candidates are contesting for the 73 Parliamentary seats at stake.

Africa’s first democratically elected female President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is not seeking re-election after serving constitutionally allowed two terms from 2006.


– Oct. 6, 2017 @ 16:52 GMT |