5 October 2017

Liberia: NDI Deploys 34 International Observers

US Senator Gary Peters Heads Delegation; Ghana's Mahama Heads ECOWAS Observer Mission, Arrives Today

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) is fielding an international delegation from today, Thursday, October 5 to Thursday, October 12 to observe the October 10 presidential and legislative elections.

According to the NDI, the delegation includes 34 political leaders, civic leaders and election experts from Africa, Europe, and North America.

The NDI's international delegation will be led by U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI); Senator Ken Nnamani, former President of the Nigerian Senate; and Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, Regional Director, NDI.

"In this election, Liberians have an opportunity for a historic peaceful transfer of power from one democratically-elected president to another," said Senator Peters. "I am honored to be joining an international delegation to observe the process and to support transparent and peaceful elections."

NDI's delegation will observe polling places on Election Day, and hold high-level meetings with the National Elections Commission, government officials, political party leaders and civil society representatives. NDI conducted two pre-election assessment missions prior to the polls and provided recommendations to key stakeholders in statements issued in February and September.

In addition, NDI has deployed six long-term observers and four long-term analysts in Liberia since July.

"Liberia has come a long way to consolidate its democracy, and Liberians can take great pride in their accomplishments to date," said Dr. Fomunyoh.

The delegation will present its mission findings at a press conference in Monrovia on Thursday, October 12th, 2017, at 11:30 am at the Royal Grand Hotel. Over the last 25 years, NDI has conducted more than 150 election observation missions in 62countries.

NDI first worked in Liberia in 1997, providing technical assistance to Liberian voter education and election monitoring efforts. The Institute has maintained an in-country office in Liberia since 2003.

The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.

The critical nature of the October 10 elections, Liberians believe, will determine the country's future for the next six years. The next government, many say, has the responsibility to work with the expectations of Liberians, including improved infrastructure, healthcare, education, security and the economy.

Meanwhile, Ghana's immediate-past President John Dramani Mahama, Head of the 71-member ECOWAS Election Observation Mission to Liberia will be arriving in Monrovia today Thursday, 5th October.

Twenty-one (21) ECOWAS Long-Term Observers are already deployed across Liberia's 15 administrative Counties. The Long-term team will be joined this week by 50 Short-term observers, and both teams are headed by former President Mahama for the observation of the pre-election, the Election-Day (October 10), and post-election processes.

The Head of the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission on his arrival at the Roberts International Airport will be expected to meet with the media.

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