By Matthew Turry
MONROVIA: As more international observers continue to arrive the country ahead of the crucial runoff elections slated for tomorrow, Tuesday, November 14, 2023, the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa International Election Observation Mission (EISA-IEOM) has announced the arrival of its 18 Short-term Observers (STOs) to observe the14 November 2023 Presidential runoff election in Liberia. The Mission is headed by Dr. Nevers Mumba, former Vice President of the Republic of Zambia and deputised by EISA Executive Director, Mr Baidessou Soukolgue and supported by a technical team of nine experts.
According to a press statement issued during a media briefing shortly after the arrival of the observers, the STOs together with 12 Long-term Observers (LTOs) deployed since April and July 2023 observed the first round of voting in eleven of Liberia’s fifteen counties in October 2023. These counties include Bomi, Bong, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Montserrado, Margibi, Lofa, Nimba, Maryland, and River Gee.
The statement said 30 EISA observers will observe the campaigns, final deployment of voting materials, the voting day procedures, including the opening and closing of polls, the counting processes at polling stations and result management processes in the respective counties.
“EISA’s assessment of the elections in Liberia is consistent with the legal framework in the country, and regional and international standards for elections and democracy. These frameworks include the Constitution of Liberia, the Elections Law of Liberia, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance, and the Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa.
“In conducting our duties, we will be guided by the principles of neutrality, impartiality, objectivity and independence. As we are here in our capacity as an organisation, our assessment will be our own and not that of any group or political party.
“The EISA-IEOM will issue an interim statement on its preliminary findings at a press conference on 16 November 2023. A final report will then be prepared and shared with relevant stakeholders and made publicly available”, the statement said.
The short-term mission will remain in Monrovia until 18 November 2023 and operate from its temporary secretariat located at the Cape Hotel, Monrovia.
The USAID-funded EISA International Election Observation Mission (EISA-IEOM) Activity seeks to enhance the integrity of the 2023 Liberia Presidential and Legislative elections through the deployment of an independent international election observer mission (EOM) to monitor, assess and report on all phases of the electoral process by international and regional benchmarks. The IEOM is implemented in close coordination with the financial support of USAID/Liberia and will complement the efforts of other electoral stakeholders.