By Bill W. Cooper
The Liberia Elections Observation Network (LEON) has released its findings on the just ended November 14, 2023 presidential runoff election between incumbent President George Weah and former Vice President Joseph Boakai across Liberia.
The group, in its report, called on the National Elections Commission (NEC) to enhance its training methodologies in preparation for future elections in Liberia.
Emphasizing the need for well-informed and qualified personnel, LEON asserted that improved training methods will significantly contribute to enhancing the integrity and credibility of electoral processes.
Reading the findings of the report yesterday, LEON Head, Banica S. Elliott, also emphasized the need for the NEC to ensure that visually impaired and other people with disabilities, fully participate during future elections.
She explained that its preliminary analysis provides insights into the social media landscape of political elites and influencers, noting that positive sentiments outweigh negative sentiments.
Specially, Madam Elliott named themes like discrediting electoral processes and the spreading of misinformation, which, she also stressed, require careful attention, thanking Liberians for peacefully exercising their constitutional rights to vote in the runoff.
She also called on the NEC to continue performing its professional duties efficiently and effectively during the runoff result tabulation process, and, at the same time, called on political parties and stakeholders to be patient and await NEC to announce the official result.
The LEON Head indicated that by investing in training programs that encompass cutting-edge electoral techniques, NEC can bolster public trust and confidence in the electoral system, ultimately fortifying the democratic foundation of the nation.
Elliott further stressed the need for political parties and stakeholders, as well as all Liberians, to respect the country’s electoral process, to maintain a genuine, credible, transparent, safe, and inclusive electoral environment/atmosphere.
She further disclosed that LEON will, in the coming days, issue additional preliminary statements, and then a final report on the conduct of the entire elections that includes findings on the overall integrity and quality of the 2023 electoral cycle.
Meanwhile, LEON said it also observed, from all 73 districts assessed, that the election process was very good at approximately 74.7 percent, or good at approximately 23.6 percent, with a combined assessment of approximately 98.3 percent, considering the process as good or very good.
The group added, “Our observers’ assessments also show an increase from the 66.2 percent very good, but slight decrease from 29.9 percent good, for a combined increase from assessment of 96 percent during the October 10 elections.”