News / Africa

ECOWAS Increases Number of Poll Monitors for Liberia Run-off Vote

Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) President James Victor Gbeho during a news conference on the election dispute in Ivory Coast by ECOWAS in Nigeria's capital Abuja, January 4, 2011.
Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) President James Victor Gbeho during a news conference on the election dispute in Ivory Coast by ECOWAS in Nigeria's capital Abuja, January 4, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Ambassador James Victor Gbeho, president of the ECOWAS Commission

Peter Clottey

The top official of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says the group’s poll monitors will begin arriving in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, Wednesday to observe the November 8 run-off.

Ambassador James Victor Gbeho, president of the ECOWAS Commission, says the sub-regional bloc anticipates a peaceful, transparent and a credible vote.

“Our observers will be arriving there to observe every aspect of the election,” said Gbeho. “We are sending them earlier, because observation is not only done on polling day. We will satisfy ourselves that the arrangements being made are fair and credible.”

ECOWAS will deploy 200 observers across Liberia. It deployed about 150 poll monitors in the first round of voting. Gbeho says the group will also coordinate with other international observing groups to monitor the poll.

“Obviously, we cannot be in every polling station, but I can assure you that we will be in every province of Liberia,” said Gbeho. “We will hold consultations with the Carter Center of the United States [and] exchange views with them.”

He expressed optimism about the conduct of the poll, but also said there’s some anxiety.

“The country had a long history of conflict from which it has just emerged. And the aftermath of the first round showed that some of them were poor losers and are contemplating bringing everything to a halt if they do not win,” said Gbeho. “I have publicly appealed to them to accept the verdict if we adjudged it to be free fair and transparent so that we break this cycle of always challenging election results because you are on the losing side.”

The sub-regional bloc described the first round vote as free and fair. But the opposition dismissed the final result, claiming voter irregularities, which they said undermined the credibility of the poll.

Their claims of voter fraud, some observers say, forced National Elections Commission Chairman, James Fromayan to resign ahead of the run-off.

Gbeho said ECOWAS is working closely with the two remaining parties to ensure their concerns are addressed before the vote.

“I have a special envoy Major General Seth Obeng… and he has been in daily almost hourly touch with the United Nations mission there, UNMIL, as well as other organizations [to ensure a peaceful vote],” he said.

He expressed hope that Liberians will prove that democracy is maturing in the country.

“It was necessary to give the peace message to them so that we all are on our best behavior on that day, so that there are no conflicts and that this can prove the maturity of Liberia,” said Gbeho. “This will prove that Liberians can change government peacefully, from one peaceful government to another, and so we are all looking forward to that day.”

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More