The head of a four – member Union of Liberian Association in America (ULAA) election observer mission to Liberia Madam Minerva Grant has spoken for the first time on several issues associated with the first round of the representatives and presidential elections conducted on October 10 this year.
Speaking at a news conference held at the Corina Hotel in Sinkor over the weekend, ULAA’s former election commission chairperson emphasized the need for Liberia’s National Election Commission (NEC) to place more emphasis on voters awareness to ensure that the high level of invalid votes witnessed in the first round is not repeated in the runoff.
The four-member ULAA election observer mission to Liberia includes Minerva Grant from the United States of America, Cecelia Wisseh Ofosu, Constance Bowmah Prempeh, and Rev. Marcus Sherman from the Republic of Ghana.
The ULAA head of delegation also wants political parties that are qualified for the runoff including opposition Coalition for Democratic Chance (CDC) and ruling Unity Party (UP) to take the forefront of a vigorous voters awareness exercise across Liberia because they need the votes.
Madam Grant notes that it is the responsibility of the CDC and UP to sufficiently train their poll watchers to ensure that they pay key attention to ballot counting process which she says is the most crucial moment in the election.
“ULAA observe that some of the political parties’ observers were not focused during the counting process as they were either on the cell-phone or not present in the voting precincts which is at the detriment of contesting parties,” the group says.
On the issue of security at polling centers, the organization lauded the Liberia National Police (LNP) for the professional manner in which officers assigned at some of the voting precincts conducted the security operation during the election.
The group says such conduct of the security in the first round assures Liberians of the credibility of the poll. The organization commends all Liberian voters for their courage to democratically elect the next president of the country through a free, fair, and transparent election that will determine where the country goes.
While commenting on the elections issues on the ground, ULAA notes that thousands of Liberians living in the Diasporas are eagerly waiting to return home based on the outcome of the run-off election between the CDC and UP slated for November 7.
The group says at the appropriate time, it will issue an official position statement on the entire electoral process. A new batch of accredited ULAA election observer mission to Liberia is expected in the country shortly to witness the runoff election as the first group of observers return to their respective countries of residence.
By Emmanuel Mondaye–Edited by Winston W. Parley