The European Union or EU says it welcome the resolution of the 10 October 2017, elections disputes, which paved the way for the prolonged runoff between the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change or CDC and the ruling Unity Party or UP.
A runoff between the two parties had been scheduled for November 7, but was delayed due to complaints filed by the opposition Liberty Party or LP citing fraud and irregularities.
The LP, which came third in the election, had called for a rerun of the entire election. But their request was denied by NEC, while an appeal before the Supreme Court upheld the NEC decision on Thursday December 7.
“This decision is an important contribution to the democratic capital built so far in Liberia. The conclusion of complaints permits the elections to proceed, while the right of citizens to elect their chosen leaders shall be respected”, stated the EU EOM Chief Observer, Maria Arena in a press statement issued Friday December 6.
In the period 6 November to 7 December, the EU EOM noted the National Election Commission (NEC) was faced with numerous complaints from various candidates across the country.
It said in some instances, an increasingly complex array of motions and applications impeded the resolution of disputes within the strict limit of constitutional timelines.
However, the EU EOM commends the NEC for its efforts to administer hearings comprehensively and inclusively.
The EU EOM statement also praise the superior court saying, “the Supreme Court conducted key appeal cases in a swift and efficient manner, underlining the importance the Honourable Justices attach to the expeditious handling of electoral cases”
It said notwithstanding some misinformation and uncertainty surrounding the period after the suspension of the run-off, Liberian citizens, partisans and non-partisans alike, remained patient and respectful of the principles of peace, democracy and rule of law.
“The voters’ trust towards the electoral process is paramount and must be ensured by public institutions and media, continuing to provide citizens with accurate and timely information on the remaining stages of the election process”, concludes the Chief Observer.
The EU EOM also commended all political parties for their firm commitment to resolve disputes through mediation and judicial means. The mission encourages the stakeholders to continue promoting a violence-free election as expressed in their various public statements thus far.