Liberia: EU deploys 81 Observers to Liberian presidential polls

Monrovia, Liberia (PANA) – The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Liberia on Friday said it has deployed 34 short-term observers (STOs) together with additional 12 observers from diplomatic representations of EU member states in Liberia.

The observers will join 20 long-term observers (LTOs) who have been in Liberia since mid September, bringing the total number of EU observers to Liberia to 81, the EU EOM said in a statement on Friday.

“Our teams have been observing the electoral process for over a month now. LTOs have engaged with all 19 Magisterial Election Offices and have held meetings in 56 out of 73 Electoral Districts to date. Election day always receives special attention,” says Chief Observer Maria Arena.

“This is why we deploy this large number of short-term observers: to have more eyes in the field, to be able to follow election day in numerous polling places in all 15 counties, and to get a reliable picture about how voting, counting and tabulation has been conducted,” she noted.

On Election Day, the observers will follow all election-related activities at various polling places and voting precincts across all counties, the statement noted, adding the staff will observe the opening of polling places, and will assess the electoral environment in which the election takes place.

It said they will observe the implementation of the voting procedures, including compliance with Liberian laws, and whether the right to vote and the right to a secret ballot are enjoyed in practice.

After the closure of voting, the statement indicated, the observers will follow the counting, and result-tabulation process, paying attention to whether there is a transparent, accurate and prompt transfer, tabulation and publication of results.  

“The EU Election Observation Mission is here to observe the whole electoral process. We will not validate any result but we focus on the quality of the election process. Our Code of Conduct requires all EU Observer to maintain strict neutrality and impartiality.

“They are not allowed to interfere in the electoral process in any way: this means that while they may bring irregularities to the attention of the election officials, they are not allowed to give instructions to them,” underlined Chief Observer Arena.

The Missions´ initial findings will be delivered in a preliminary statement, which will be presented in a press conference shortly after Election Day, the statement disclosed, while a Final Report that will also include recommendations will be presented at a later stage.  

The European Union (EU) was invited to deploy an observation mission by the Liberian Government and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Liberia since August 28.

The EU EOM is independent from any EU institutions or Member States or government institutions and is committed to remain neutral and abide by the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and the Code of Conduct, as well as the laws of Liberia.
-0- PANA PTK/VAO 6Oct2017

06 october 2017 15:02:35

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