The Carter Center today released the final report from its observation mission of Liberia’s 2017 elections, outlining key findings and offering recommendations for reform to strengthen Liberia’s electoral process. The Carter Center’s international election observation reflects the Center’s long-term commitment to support democratic development and improve health in the country. The Center plans to remain engaged in Liberia, working with the current government, civil society organizations, the Liberian National Police, and community leaders to advance access to justice, access to information, and mental health.
Articles about voting issues in The Republic of Liberia.
The observer mission of Atlanta based US group Carter Center is recommending to national government to carry out proper revision of electoral legislation that will help in addressing election gaps here. “We encourage the government to carry out a full review of electoral legislation through an inclusive process to address gaps and inconsistencies with the goal of bringing the legal framework in line with international standards for democratic elections,” the US group said Thursday, 28 December in Monrovia.
Initial results were expected Thursday in Liberia’s landmark presidential poll, the country’s first democratic transfer of power in decades, pitting former footballer George Weah against Vice President Joseph Boakai. Whoever wins will succeed Africa’s first elected female head of state, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who took over at the helm of the small west African nation in 2006. Sirleaf’s predecessor Charles Taylor fled the country in 2003, hoping to avoid prosecution for funding rebel groups in neighbouring Sierra Leone, while two presidents who served prior to Taylor were assassinated. The tumultuous events of the past seven decades in Liberia, where an estimated 250,000 people died during back-to-back civil wars between 1989-2003, means a democratic handover has not taken place since 1944.
Liberia’s ruling United Party said on Friday it would not appeal the top court’s rejection of its legal challenge to delay an upcoming presidential run-off vote, seen as a crucial test to the crisis-hit country’s stability. The party of Vice-President Joseph Boakai, one of the two contenders in the December 26 ballot, filed the request last week after calling into question the official election body’s integrity. But the Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the party’s demand that parliament be given the power to set a new vote date. “The Supreme Court has decided, what can we say? Nothing. We have taken note, and we will go to the election,” Unity Party spokesman Mohammed Ali told AFP Friday.
Liberia: Runoff Election At Stake – Supreme Court Reserves Ruling in Up Bill of Information | allAfrica.com
On Monday the Supreme Court heard arguments in the Bill of Information seeking a stay order on the pending December 26, 2017 runoff. During the hearing, the Court asked several questions to both contending lawyers. But specifically, it asked the legal team of the National Elections Commission (NEC) if it was attentively following the Supreme Court’s mandates handed down on December 7, 2017, in the case filed against NEC by Liberty Party. The Elections body legal team answered saying that the court’s mandates are being gradually followed.
Senators up Capitol Hill went at loggerhead during heated argument at the public hearing. The ruling Unity Party (UP) and opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) are due to meet at a presidential runoff election scheduled by the NEC for 26 December. Some Senators argued that NEC was proceeding wrongly by setting date for the runoff election, insisting that such responsibility squarely rests at the feet of the Liberian Legislature. But others argued that the Supreme Court’s ruling instructed NEC to set date for the runoff, but in conferment of the 1986 Liberian Constitution.
The national Chairman of the governing Unity Party (UP), Mr. Wilmot J.M. Paye, has expressed dismay over the credibility of the head of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Chairman Jerome George Korkoya, to conduct a free, fair and transparent runoff election on December 26. He made the statement over the weekend in an interview with a team of reporters at his Unity Party headquarters in Congo Town during a one-day mini youth retreat organized by the UP National Youth Congress. Chairman Paye said even though UP does not have the appointing and dismissal power to remove the NEC Chairman, but as a political party, it is deeply concerned over the poor performance and inability of Cllr. Korkoya to lead the affairs of the Presidential runoff election.
Liberia’s ruling Unity Party has asked the Supreme Court to further delay the presidential runoff, which its candidate Vice President Joseph Boakai will contest on December 26. The party filed a request late Thursday in which it called for the country’s legislature to be given responsibility for determining the election date. The move came just hours after Boakai was dealt a setback, when a major opposition party announced it would back his rival, former football star George Weah. “We request that the recent ruling of the Supreme Court be reviewed and should include that the NEC chairman and the Executive Director be disqualified from participating in or having anything to do with the run-off elections,” the legal filing said.
The December 26 date for the runoff of the 2017 presidential elections might be altered by the Legislature as the lawmakers have vowed to punish authorities of the National Elections Commission (NEC) for “usurping legislative function when the commission unilaterally set the runoff date without the their approval.” On Tuesday, December 12, NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoya and the Board of Commissioners announced December 26 as the date for the runoff election after the stay order was lifted by the Supreme Court. The Legislature, as the first branch of government, has the authority to make laws, make representation and exercise oversight. The Legislature also signs resolutions to make laws and the joint resolution of the Legislature is to propose constitutional amendments. This resolution and other resolutions require a two-thirds affirmative vote in each house, and are not submitted to the President.
Liberia will hold a delayed presidential run-off vote on December 26, electoral officials have said. Tthe National Elections Commission (NEC) made the announcement in a press briefing on Tuesday, saying official campaigning must end by December 24. “We call on the two political parties in the run-off election … to go about their campaign in a peaceful manner,” said Jerome Korkoya, NEC chairman. A run-off was originally scheduled for last month between George Weah, an international football star-turned-politician, and Vice President Joseph Boakai.