Liberia general polls get high rating from EU observers

Monrovia, Liberia - June 22, 2013: Football game organized by George Wea at SKD. (Photograph by Morgana Wingard).

The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Liberia has rated Tuesday’s Presidential and House of Representatives elections in the West African country high.

In its preliminary report released on Thursday, the mission said the “overall conduct of the voting was generally assessed as either good or very good”.

Maria Arena, the Chief Observer of the EU EOM and member of the European Parliament, presented the report to journalists in Monrovia, the nation’s capital.

This came barely 24 hours after the exercise received favourable verdicts from the ECOWAS and African Union observation missions.

“The EU EOM conducted 336 observations on election day, visiting a total of 297 polling stations.

“The overall assessment of the conduct of the opening procedures was good or very good.

“Eighty-nine per cent of polling places observed opened on time or with half an hour delay”, the report said.

She said that the overall conduct of the voting was also generally rated as either good or very good by the observers.

The secrecy of the ballot was upheld in 97 per cent of the polling places observed by the officials in spite of overcrowding noticed in many polling centres, Ms. Arena said.

“Observers reported that 91 per cent of the polling places closed on time or within one hour so that queuing voters could cast their ballot.

“EU EOM observers assessed that the closing and counting procedures were generally good, very good and that in 78 per cent polling places observed, the counting process was assessed as transparent.”

She said the report, however, noted some “issues”, which were not specified, were observed during sorting of ballot papers and recording of the figures in the forms in some places.



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