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 AU Deploys Observers in Liberia, Assures NEC of Support September 5th, 2017

With the clock on the October polls fast ticking, international bodies and partners to Liberia are becoming keener on the activities leading to a historic event that will witness the third postwar democratic elections after the 2005 and 2011 polls. The elections will see, for the first time in several decades an incumbent president in Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf handing over power peacefully. Observers keep pouring, seeking vital and needed information on the process.

The African Union (AU), a body with far bigger interest in the peaceful existence of Liberia is amongst the array of institutions and nations showing concern in the October presidential and representative elections. The AU is bringing in a permanent observer mission to follow through the process leading to October.

During a call on the chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC) on Monday September 4, AU Ambassador to Liberia Ibrahim Karama thanked the NEC for the many good works leading to the elections. Amb. Kamara assured NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoya of the AU’s support to the process.

He said because of the importance AU attaches to the Liberian elections, the body has extended its mandates in the country pending the outcome of the elections. “AU is passionate to witness the turning over of the baton to whoever will be elected by the Liberia people on October 10, 2017”, Amb kamara emphasized.

He said AU has always been monitoring polls in Africa but this time the body has elected to follow the process from afar, through to the elections day, justifying why members of the AU observer mission have begun arriving sooner than later.

The Union already has in the country four core observatory team members from Kenya, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Zambia. The long term observers will keep arriving at different intervals up to Saturday September 9. They will be deployed throughout the country and will stay up to the announcement of the outcome of the elections.

Amb Kamara, who was accompanied by the AU senior political and humanitarian affairs officer in Liberia, Prosper Addo, said the AU was particularly ardent on hearing from the NEC chairman relating funding and other issues of concern.

Receiving the AU Ambassador, Chairman Korkoya said he was happy to have a friend in AU and lauded the Union for the high level of interest in seeing Liberia transition peacefully. On the issue of funding, the NEC boss said though funding remains an issue, he is thankful to the government of Liberia for the commitment in having a successful election in October. He said government has always shown interest amidst the difficult economic state.

Chairman Korkoya assured the AU of a credible and transparent election. He said the commission’s doors remain open to more and more observers from around the world. He said observers will help validate the work of the commission.

Earlier today, September 5, a large delegation of EU and Carter Center observer missions met with Chairman Korkoya and the Board of Commissioners at different intervals.

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