President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Alieu Touray, has approved the deployment of 15 Long-Term Election Observers (LTOs) to monitor key stages in the electoral process leading up to Liberia’s general elections on 10th October, 2023.
He said the deployment is consistent with the provisions of Articles 12 to 14 of the 2001 ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on democracy and good governance on assistance to member states holding elections.
He said in a statement yesterday in Abuja that the Long-Term Observation Mission (LTOM), headed by Mr. Serigne Mamadou KA, Ag. Head of the Electoral Assistance Division comprises experts in election administration, gender and civil society, constitutional law, security and the media.
According to the statement, the ECOWAS LTOs will be reinforced on 3rd October by 80 of their Short-Term colleagues, drawn from the ECOWAS Council of the Wise, ECOWAS Parliament, and Community Court of Justice, member States’ foreign ministries, electoral management bodies and civil society organisations.
“The combined observation mission, led by Prof Attahiru Jega, former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Nigeria, will be deployed across Liberia’s 15 counties, including the national capital, Monrovia.
“The mission will issue a preliminary declaration within 48 hours after the elections, to be followed by a detailed final report on its observations,” it said.
It said that the LTO Mission will be in the country until 15th October 2023, to observe the electoral processes and also serve as an early warning mechanism for preventive diplomacy.
“During their stay, the electoral experts will hold working sessions with various stakeholders, including the National Elections Commission (NEC), government, civil society organisations, the media, security agencies, as well as political parties and candidates, towards ensuring a smooth electoral process.
“Some 2,471,617 registered voters among Liberia’s estimated population of 5.4m, will elect a new president, 30 senators and 73 members of the House of Representatives,” the statement said.
Incumbent President George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) is seeking re-election. He faces 19 other candidates, including former Vice President, Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party and Alexander Cummings of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).