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

    Turkey, West in Standoff Over Syrian Refugees

    Turkish government refuses to admit refugees, the first in a wave of civilians fleeing offensive by Assad regime in northern Aleppo countryside

    Jailed American Testifies About Islamist Involvement in Mumbai Attacks

    David Headley testifies via video link that Pakistan-based Islamic terror group made two failed attempts to mount strikes in Mumbai in months prior to coordinated assault

    These Are the 10 Smartest US States

    A new report breaks down the nation's best and brightest

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.