The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has called on the Liberia National Police to fast track the investigation of a pre-marked ballot case involving staffer of the National Elections Commission.
The mission head and former president of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama conformed that ECOWAS was informed about an isolated case that is currently being probed by the LNP.
He pool worker was arrested on Tuesday during the election process with pre-marked ballot papers with senator Weas and his running mate already checked.
Acknowledging the incident, the West African body said: “The ECOWAS EOM noted the circulation of fake news report of withdrawal of Unity Party (UP) from the run-off election and immediately responded by contacting the standard bearer and the executive of the UP. The party also made a prompt response on Radio to dispel the rumour. Moreover, the ECOWAS Mission was informed of an isolated incident of arrest of an individual by the police for possessing pre-marked ballot papers.”
“ECOWAS urged both CDC and UP candidates particularly and their political parties and followers to accept the verdict of the ballot box as will be declared by the competent authority, the NEC and refrain from prematurely declaring results of the election,” former Ghanaian President John Mahama said.
“The mission appeals to the candidates to gracefully accept the will of the people and in the event of genuine grievances, to resort exclusively to legal means to seek redress.”
“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. The improved management of the voting process, the greater familiarity of polling agents and voters with the process, and the vastly reduced number of candidates on the ballot paper, ensured a speedy turnover, with each voter needing about a minute to complete the process.
“The vote counting processes at the polling places were conducted transparently and professionally in the presence of the agents of the two candidates and some local observers (namely, Election Coordination Committee (ECC); Liberian Election Observation Network (LEON); Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) and International Observation Missions (AU, EU, NDI, EISA, Carter Center, Japan and the United States Embassy).
The mission paid tribute to the NEC for the measure taken to correct the shortcomings observed during the first round election and for the professionalism demonstrated throughout the runoff presidential election.”
They praised Liberians for their patience, determination and peaceful conduct demonstrated so far and appeals to them to maintain the same spirit till the end of the process.”
Writes Titus E. Dessie