Nigeria: ECOWAS declares Liberia's special senatorial polls free, fair, credible

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - ECOWAS has declared Liberia's special senatorial elections on 20 Dec. 2014 as ''free, fair, credible and transparent'', despite some ''insignificant shortcomings''.

In a preliminary declaration, the ECOWAS Election Observer Mission (EOM) urged the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to announce the provisional results within the stipulated time limit, and exhorted all the stakeholders to abstain from speculating on unofficial results or declaring them as such.

''The Mission calls on all candidates and their supporters to comply with current procedures and the rule of law. It exhorts particularly all candidates and supporters to comply with democratic rules and to resort to exclusively legal means of seeking redress for any grievance emanating from the electoral process,'' according to the declaration, made available to PANA here Friday.

The ECOWAS EOM recommended continuous training of Electoral officials and Party Agents as well as initiate civic education campaigns for the populations in cooperation with the Civil Society; provision of adequate logistical preparation and structure for the upcoming general elections and urged that security officials play their role during the electoral process, especially of preventing crisis at the level of the voting precinct.

''The Mission was satisfied with the peaceful atmosphere that prevailed during the polling operations and welcomed the absence of violence displayed by the voters and party agents. The Mission wishes that this election will be important milestones of the progress made in the fight against Ebola, the reopening of schools and universities across the country and will definitely pave the way for economic growth and social-political progress,'' it said.

The 15-member EOM, headed by Leopold A.J. Ouedraogo, was deployed following the request from the Government of Liberia and within the framework of the ECOWAS comprehensive support to the consolidation of democracy in the region.

The senatorial election was originally delayed through a joint resolution by the Country Legislature due to the declaration of a State of Emergency 6 Aug. 2014 as a result of the Ebola Virus Disease.

A total number of 1,903,229 voters were registered to elect half of the country’s 30-member Senate. Thus, 139 candidates competed for 15 seats.
-0- PANA SEG 26Dec2014

26 december 2014 10:53:45

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