Ex-Nigerian President Jonathan, others arrive for runoff
Former Nigerian President Dr. Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Kosovo’s former President Atifete Jahjaga arrived here Thursday December 21, as part of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) international election observation mission ahead of the December 26 presidential runoff.
The delegation which includes 36 political and civic leaders, elections experts, and regional specialists from 18 countries across Africa, Europe and North America, also has as part of the delegation Hanna Tetteh, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ghana; and Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, Regional Director, NDI.
“I am honored to co-lead NDI’s international delegation to support transparent and peaceful elections in Liberia, especially given the very close relationship Nigeria has always had with the country,” said President Goodluck Jonathan.
After meeting with with the National Elections Commission, government officials, political party leaders and civil society representatives, NDI’s delegation will observe polling places on Election Day. NDI has been observing the Liberian electoral process since February. This has included sending a 35-member international team of observers for the October 10th elections that issued recommendations to Liberian stakeholders, as well as pre-election assessment missions in February and September. Since July, NDI has also deployed six mobile long-term observers and four long-term analysts in Liberia.
“Exercising the right to vote is one of the most powerful actions in a democracy,” said President Jahjaga. “It is a privilege to observe this important election in Liberia in which citizens will determine the direction they want for their country.”
The NDI delegation will hold a press conference on Thursday, December 28 at the Royal Grand Hotel in Monrovia. At that time, NDI will issue a report with the delegation’s findings and recommendations on steps that could enhance confidence and participation in future elections.
Each Liberian that votes will be making a significant choice about their future,” said Dr. Fomunyoh. “The people of Liberia have been patient and they deserve to have their voices heard this coming Tuesday.”
Over the last 25 years, NDI has conducted more than 150 election observation missions in 62 countries. NDI first worked in Liberia in 1997, providing technical assistance to Liberian voter education and election monitoring efforts. The Institute has maintained an in-country office in Liberia since 2003.
The international observation mission is supported by a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).