Prez Sirleaf Holds Talks with NDI Delegation on Upcoming Elections

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Prez. Sirleaf in handshake with a member of the NDI delegation

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has received in audience a high-powered delegation from the National Democratic Institute (NDI) headed by Ambassador Johnnie Carson, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and member of the NDI Board, an Executive Mansion release said. According to the release, President Sirleaf received the delegation on Tuesday, September 5, at her Foreign Ministry office when they paid a courtesy call on her. The delegation consists of regional and elections experts from Africa and North America, including Ms. Hannah Tetteh Kpodah, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ghana; Dr. Tadjoudine Ali Diabacte, former Deputy Director of Electoral Assistance Division, United Nations, Togo; Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, Regional Director (Cameroon) – NDI; Samantha Smoot, Observation Mission Director (USA) – NDI; and Michael McNulty, Senior Program Manager (USA) – NDI.

Amb.Carson, who headed of the delegation, thanked President Sirleaf for the warm reception and audience accorded them since their arrival in Liberia. He reflected on progress made over the years and informed the President that the delegation was in the country to assess the ongoing campaign activities, and as well evaluate the overall political atmosphere and other aspects of the elections preparations aimed at consolidating prospects for peaceful, transparent and credible elections. He informed President Sirleaf that they have begun holding talks with various key stakeholders including the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police, and described the meeting as successful. Carson said they have also deployed observers in all 15 counties, and will hold discussions with the leadership of the National Elections Commission (NEC). He added: “We recognize that this is an important moment for Liberia’s history.” Amb. Carson commended President Sirleaf for her fine leadership, which he said is worth commending. He informed her that the NDI will issue a statement from their findings on Friday, September 8, at a press conference.

In response, President Sirleaf thanked Amb. Carson and team for their visit especially at this critical period in the country’s history. She described the upcoming elections as a defining moment for Liberia. She also told the delegation that Liberia has come a long way to consolidate its peace and democracy, “although there are some challenges, especially in the areas of roads and logistics.” She said the NEC is prepared to conduct elections, adding that the NEC has conducted several other elections, which according to her were credible. “Campaigns are in heavy gear right now; and as you may recall, presidential candidates signed on to the Farmington Declaration aimed at ensuring peaceful elections free of violence,” the President said.

She used the occasion to inform the NDI delegation about the overall atmosphere of the campaign period; stressing enthusiasm by both the candidates and electorates, calling on them to respect each other during political campaigning. She noted: “One needs to look at this area carefully.” She also informed the delegation that the Supreme Court will not be going for a break, given the importance of the October elections.

She said despite the challenges, the campaign is moving progressively in anticipation of free and fair elections that will be accepted by all.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. It is interested to note of how many people around the world are so interested in the
    Liberian upcoming elections. Liberia was founded in 1822. From that time on to the
    PRC Revolution in April 12, 1980, the scene of elections in the country has one of
    elections monitoring here and there; whereas, those organizations and its members
    had allowed Liberia’s elections to go on alone by itself. Why now? It is worth asking
    indeed! Where were these organizations all those years of the True Whig Party’s
    oppression, suppression, domestic colonial slavery practices with its slogan: “So says
    one, so say all?”- meaning once the President says, all the people must agree and follows.

    The great failure of the founders of this nation called Liberia has seen itself buttressed
    that failure under the President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; with the country going with no
    road, I mean paved roads network, although she had received money and donations
    from all over the world- a practice to help a country that has gone through a war.
    Recently, Liberia was into half with Southeastern being the victim from the rest of the
    country. What a heartless leadership! To say the least!

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