Liberia’s electoral commission to provide update of run-off result Thursday evening
The anticipation surrounding the outcome of Liberia’s presidential run-off election may soon come to an end as the country’s electoral commission has announced that it would provide an update of the result of the poll at 5.45 GMT (6:45 p.m. Nigerian time).
The National Elections Commission, NEC, announced on its Twitter handle that an update of the result will be provided at the time. The announcement is the latest on the status of the election that has been characterized by a paucity of verifiable information from official sources.
The dearth of information has, however, given room for fake results to be peddled on the internet with many people congratulating the candidate of the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change, CDC, George Weah, for winning the Boxing Day election.
However, unofficial reports published by Liberian Newspaper, the Daily Observer, claimed the candidate of the ruling Unity Party (UP) and incumbent vice president of the country, Joseph Boakai, has won in four of the six counties collated so far.
The political learning of the paper is unclear. However the ‘result’ it announced appears to have been sourced from the Facebook Page of the spokesperson of the UP, Mohammed Ali, who on Wednesday claimed his party was ahead of the CDC’s George Weah in a tally available to the fold.
PREMIUM TIMES will bring you updates of the results as announced officially.
Meanwhile, election observers including observers from the regional economic body, the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, have described Tuesday’s election as credible.
“On the whole, the processing of voters and the casting of ballots followed acceptable standards and were in accordance with the laws and procedures governing elections in the country, said the head of the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission (EOM) and a former president of Ghana, John Mahama at a joint press conference with the African Union observer team.
“Most Polling Places visited opened not later than 15 minutes after the official opening time of 8:00am; with an effective presence of representatives of both Parties (CDC and UP) in all the Polling Places covered,” Mr. Mahama said.
“Voter turnout at the opening of the polls, compared to the first round of elections, was generally observed to be low, with an average of between 8 to 36 voters on queues. However, by the end of the day, the voter turnout had improved to about 55 per cent.”
“The ECOWAS Election Observation Mission noted with satisfaction the peaceful conduct of the poll, though the Mission was informed of an isolated incident of arrest by police of an individual who was in possession pre-marked ballot papers,” he added.
Similarly, the head of the AU Observer team, Erastus Mwencha, praised the conduct of the election describing it as peaceful.
“Polling places opened on time and all essential elections materials were available in adequate quantities. The atmosphere inside and outside the polling precincts during opening, voting and closing was generally peaceful, and secrecy of the vote was guaranteed,” he said.
Mr. Mwencha, however, said that his team observed isolated cases where a few people were turned away in polling places such as the Philadelphia church in Montserrado and Scheffelin commissioner’s office in Margibi Country because their names were not found in the voters’ registry.
“We observed improvement and efficient management of the voting process, particularly, queues controlling, voters’ identification and adherence to NEC’s procedures. Security personnel were visibly present outside most of the polling places visited during opening, voting, and closing, but their presence was mostly discreet, non-intrusive and professional,” he said.