MONROVIA, Liberia – The National Democratic Institute (NDI) today released its preliminary statement of findings and recommendations from its international election observation mission to Liberia's presidential run-off election on December 26, 2017.
The NDI Liberia international election observer delegation included 36 political and civic leaders, elections experts and regional specialists from 18 countries across Africa, Europe and North America. The delegation's leadership was as follows: Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, former President of Nigeria; Atifete Jahjaga, former President of Kosovo; Hanna Tetteh, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ghana; and Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, Regional Director, NDI.
“I am proud of Liberians, who have come from crisis to democracy and have shown themselves to be a model of peace and stability in the region,” said President Goodluck Jonathan. “Democracy goes beyond election day, and if Liberia succeeds, West Africa succeeds, Africa succeeds, and the world succeeds."
“The NDI delegation would like to congratulate the people of Liberia for exercising their right to vote and for making a historic step towards the consolidation of democracy in their country,” said President Atifete Jahjaga. “It is my hope that the positive trends that we have observed during this election will be sustained and further improved during future elections.”
The delegation stresses that official election results are not yet complete, and its statement, therefore, is preliminary in nature. The delegation calls on Liberian political parties and candidates to cooperate in good faith with the National Elections Commission and for the results to be expeditiously released. Ultimately it is the people of Liberia who will determine the credibility of the elections. NDI will continue to monitor the electoral process through its completion and will issue additional reports as appropriate.
The preliminary statement commends the National Elections Commission (NEC) for its notable improvements since the October 10 polls, and it expresses appreciation for the efforts of other election stakeholders.
The preliminary statement highlights aspects of voter participation, election administration, women and youth participation and security. NDI’s delegation notes that, overall, voting was peaceful, orderly and well-organized as executed by trained polling officials.
The delegation’s preliminary statement provides recommendations to the government of Liberia, the National Elections Commission, political parties and candidates, security forces, civil society, the media, the international community, as well as other stakeholders. The recommendations focus on reviewing legal framework, communicating timely and accurate information, promoting peace, improving women’s participation and continuing to engage citizens in the electoral process.
NDI has been observing the Liberian electoral process since February. This has included sending a 35-member international team of observers for the October 10 elections that issued recommendations to Liberian stakeholders, as well as pre-election assessment missions in February and September. Since July, NDI has also deployed six mobile long-term observers and four long-term analysts in Liberia. The delegation conducted its activities in accordance with Liberian legal framework and the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and collaborated with other international observer missions that endorse the Declaration.
NDI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to supporting and strengthening democratic institution worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. Over the last 25 years, NDI has conducted more than 150 election observation missions in 62 countries. NDI first worked in Liberia in 1997. The Institute has maintained a permanent in-country office in Liberia since 2003. Current NDI programs in Liberia, which include technical assistance for voter education, citizen election monitoring, women’s participation and poll watching for all political parties, are funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
See full statement below: