The Head, ECOWAS 71-member Election Observation Mission to Liberia Mr. John Dramani Mahama has charged Liberians to ensure successful presidential and parliamentary elections slated for the 10th of October 2017.
Mahama, who is the immediate-past President of Ghana said ahead of the elections that the responsibility for the success of the exercise rests with all the country’s political actors as well as the general citizenry.
“The success of the electoral process depends on you the citizens of Liberia. We will do our part but international observers are not magicians, we can support the process” he said on arrival in Monrovia on 5th October 2017.
Reminding the country’s politicians and candidates that there can only be one winner, the observation Mission Head said “It is not only about winning, but how you react to losing matters,” warning that “not a single drop of blood of any Liberian is worth the political ambition of any candidate.”
Mahama, who is one of the few sitting African leaders that lost an election and conceded defeat to their opponents, counseled that “election is a process,” which should be allowed to run its normal course according set rules and without any violence.
Conveying the goodwill of ECOWAS to all the candidates, assured: “We will work hand in hand with all Liberians for credible and peaceful electoral process, as Africa countries move to consolidate democracy,” the Head of Mission affirmed.
Liberia’s National Elections Commission registered some 2.18 million voters from the country’s estimated population of 4.5 million, who will cast their ballots on October 10 to elect the nation’s 25th president.
20 candidates - 17 sponsored by political parties and three independents, are vying for the presidency, while some 986 candidates are contesting for the 73 Parliamentary seats at stake.
Incumbent president and Africa’s first democratically elected female leader Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is not seeking re-election after serving two constitutionally allowed terms from 2006.
No fewer than 50 ECOWAS Short-term observers are joining the 21 Long-term observers already deployed across Liberia’s 15 administrative Counties to assess critical phases of the electoral process in line with the regional protocol on democracy and good governance, which mandates ECOWAS to assist member States holding elections, with the aim of entrenching democratic principles in the region.