African Union (AU) observers will remain deployed in Liberia, to monitor the country’s run-off election on Tuesday, until December 31 after their deployment was approved by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Moussa Faki Mahamat.
The AU has been engaged in the electoral process in Liberia since deploying a pre-election assessment mission in February 2017, and long-term and short-term observers on September 1 and October 3, respectively to observe the first-round presidential and House of Representative elections in Liberia held on October 10.
Although the elections passed off peacefully, and were deemed largely transparent and credible by election observation missions (both local and international), including the African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM), no candidate was able to secure the 50 percent plus one valid votes cast, required by law to be elected president in the first-round.
A run-off presidential election was therefore scheduled for November 7, but this was suspended due to pending legal challenges.
However, following the final determination and lifting of suspension of the conduct of the run-off election by the Supreme Court of Liberia, the National Electoral Commission announced December 26 as the new date for the run-off between the incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party (UP) and Senator George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
The two had garnered in the first round 28.8 percent and 38.4 percent, respectively.
“The presence of AU observers demonstrates the AUC’s commitment to strengthening democratic institutions and processes on the continent, in particular, building confidence in electoral processes, and ensuring peace and stability in member states holding elections,” a statement by the continental organisation stated.
– African News Agency (ANA)