News / Africa

Poll Monitoring Group Hails ‘Peaceful, Inspiring’ Liberia Vote

Ma-Fanta Konneh, 60, casts her vote for president at a polling station in Kendeja Community School in Monrovia, Liberia, Oct. 11, 2011.
Ma-Fanta Konneh, 60, casts her vote for president at a polling station in Kendeja Community School in Monrovia, Liberia, Oct. 11, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Dr. John Stremlau, vice president for peace programs at the Carter Center

Peter Clottey

A top official of the U.S.-based Carter Center says Liberia’s National Elections Commission did a “fine job” in organizing the just-ended presidential and legislative elections.

Poll monitor John Stremlau, who is a vice president for peace programs at the Carter Center, says his group will officially issue its preliminary report Thursday, two days after the poll.

“It’s just inspiring to see this determination to demonstrate that they have made such progress since the terrible civil war,” said Stremlau. “This is the first election they have run themselves, and the National Electoral Commission has done a fine job as we can tell, and we are very heartened by what we’ve seen.”

Stremlau said Liberians defied a heavy downpour to vote.

“We saw with great patience people waiting hours and in good spirits,” said Stremlau. “I have seen such dedication by poll workers who have not been fed all day and are making absolutely certain that all parties that wanted to be represented are here…They are being absolutely scrupulous and making certain that the votes are counted and counted accurately.”

The Carter Center’s poll observer delegation comprises 55 members from about 25 different countries that monitored Liberia’s general election.

Some analysts expressed concern there could be violence following reports of heated rhetoric from partisans in the run-up to the vote. But, Stremlau praised both the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union for playing a key role to ease tensions, ahead of the polls.

“What has impressed us in the last days of this campaign where we have been here is how civil the parties have been to each other,” said Stremlau. “The rhetoric earlier in the campaign raised some concerns in West Africa and brought special ECOWAS envoys to Liberia to urge restraint, to urge civil discourse, [and] to urge a free and fair election. I think that really had a positive impact.”

Stremlau also said he is encouraged by the way Liberians peacefully conducted themselves during the voting process. He also praised the electoral commission for organizing a peaceful vote despite what he called “some shortcomings” in civil education, ahead of the vote.

“We are going to review our findings from having [to] discuss with them, but my overall impression is they performed exemplary,” said Stremlau.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid counter-terror intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid