The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Elections Observer Mission here has urged both incumbent Vice President Joseph N. Boakai and Senator George Weah, the two candidates in the 26 December Presidential runoff to accept the will of the Liberian people.
“The Mission appeals to 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,” Head of ECOWAS Elections Mission and immediate past Ghanaian President Mr. John Dramani Mahama said Wednesday, 27 December in Monrovia.
The 26 December presidential runoff election between ruling Unity Party (UP’s) candidate Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai and opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC’s) Sen. George Manneh Weah was delayed by prolonged legal challenge against the outcome of the 10 October elections contested by 20 presidential candidates.
Following Tuesday’s polls, Mr. Mahama told a joint press conference with the African Union Observer Mission at Boulevard Palace Hotel in Sinkor that the Mission notes with satisfaction the peaceful conduct of the runoff election held on 26 December.
He calls on the authorities at the National Elections Commission (NEC) to approach the concluding phases of the electoral process with fairness, openness and transparency until the proclamation of official results by the election commission.
Mr. Mahama says the ECOWAS Mission also want to urge the NEC to work diligently and expedite action on the proclamation of provisional results in order to avoid creating anxiety within the polity.
According to the former Ghanaian president, the vote counting process at various polling places were conducted transparently and professionally in the presence of agents of the two parties and some local observers include the Election Coordination Committee (ECC), LEON, AU, ELSA, and Carter Center, among others.
The ECOWAS Mission head adds that the Observer Mission notes the circulation of fake news report of the withdrawal of the Unity Party from the runoff election, and immediately responded by contacting the standard bearer Mr. Joseph Nyumah Boakai, and some executives of the party to clarify the rumors.
At the same time the ECOWAS Observer Mission is commending the CDC and UP candidates for their demonstration of statesmanship and exemplary conduct in the runoff election, urging them to stay the course of restraint, legality and peace until the end of the process.
“We also want to congratulate the other eighteen candidates and political parties for their role in ensuring healthy political competition and a peaceful electoral process,” the Mission says. Mr. Mahama calls on followers of the CDC and UP to accept the verdict of the ballot box as will be declared by authorities of the NEC.
He has congratulated authorities at the NEC for the measures taken to correct the shortcoming observed during the first round of the October 10 polls, and for the professionalism demonstrated throughout the runoff election.
By Lewis S. Teh–Edited by Winston W. Parley