“We Are Watching Liberia” -AU Erastus Mwencha

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Mwencha: "We are watching Liberia very closely..."

The head of the African Union’s (AU) elections monitoring group in Liberia, Erastus Mwencha, yesterday re-emphasized the call for Liberians to ensure that the 2017 elections do not tear them apart and take the nation backward.
“The AU in collaboration with ECOWAS and all other local and international partners are watching Liberia, the oldest independent African republic that set the agenda for continental independence from colonial rule. We are watching you as you people go through these elections,” Mwencha said.
Addressing journalists at the Julius Berrian School on Peace Island, Congo Town, Montserrado District #10, he said the international community believes that Liberians are mature enough to maintain the peace and that they should do all it takes to keep it very close to their hearts.
“Resources of all kinds, including time, money and the lives of foreign troops have been spent to bring you together as a people and put an end to the civil conflicts. Now is the time for all of you to prove to the international community that you are prepared to handle your own affairs with no need of destroying lives and properties as it was done some years back,” he said.
“It is encouraging to see people coming out in large numbers and they are very enthusiastic to exercise their democratic right. This is a historical electoral process intended for a peaceful transition of power from one democratically elected president to another in almost a century since 1944 as your history explains. Therefore, we believe that this will stand as a beacon of hope for the sub-region and even beyond,” Mwencha noted.
He said Liberia is a history-making nation in so many aspects. “This nation was the first to elect a woman president on the continent of Africa as well as the first and only African country that has produced a global best football player. It has lots of achievements in the collective history of the continent and the world at large,” he said.
Touching more on the voting process as he toured precincts across Monrovia and its environs, he said: “As for now we have been at five polling stations and we saw that the process has started on a good note except that the identification process of voters’ information by polling staff is very slow.” He recommended that the National Elections Commission (NEC) see reason and allow all voters in queues across the country cast their votes even if its 6 p.m. deadline expires, a position that the NEC has already said it has allowed.
He wished the country well and admonished all stakeholders to allow the electoral process to be transparent and credible.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Why are you watching Liberia? We are watching the Au and know that it is a useless organization. ECOWAS is 1000000 times better. AU protect all the tyrants and presidents for life. Nobody asked you all to watch us. Totally useless and waste money coming here , chasing our women and sleeping in big hotels. Useless organization. The kenyan judges made you all shame.

  2. Jamesetta, Don’t mind them. They all helped to destroyed Liberia, looted the properties and resources of this nation, brought in diseases from their respective African countries and spread it by sleeping with our women, they all whish the civil war continued because many of them benefited as individuals and African nations. Now, the war is over, some if them came back to Liberia as foreign business people. They also push down this ECOWAS member states down our throats to obtain Kiberian citizenship. They think we are stupid. The know Liberia is resources rich and least exploited, unlike other African countries the West has exploited during colonial rule. But, we are not stupid as they thing. Now our election is over, let them get out of Liberia. We Don’t need anyone watching us. Let them learn to watch themselves.

  3. As many Liberians tried to exercise their constitutional rights in this highly competitive and overcrowded 2017 election, this rigorous voting process should serve as a learning curve for future elections in Liberia.

    There were many flaws encountered by frustrated voters who arrived four to five hours early just to cast their votes.

    Some of the problems encountered were:

    Some polling stations in the interior were inaccessible due to impassable roads.
    Some Voters were not well informed of their designated polling stations or precincts. Therefore, voters wasted valuable time in finding their right polling precincts.
    There was lack of assistance for the disabled, elderly, and also lack translators for Non-English speaking voters mostly in the rural areas.

    Too many presidential candidates made this 2017 Election and voting process long and tedious.
    Some polling precincts opened too late instead of the stipulated opening time of 8:00 a.m. thus causing many impatient voters to leave without voting.
    Some Polling stations closed around the stipulated time of 6:00 p.m. while so many people were still waiting to cast their votes.

    How do we rectify these problems for future elections? Here are some suggestions:

    The voting population has increased exponentially and will continue to increase as the next presidential and legislative elections become competitive.
    Our election laws should think about limiting the amount of political parties to the maximum of five political parties. This will save the country enormous among of money preparing for the first round with few candidates, and also, save money on costly run-off elections. That money saved could be used for social and economic development.

    Voters’ education should be done two years prior to the general election and continue until it reaches the length and breadth of Liberia. This will minimize voters’ confusion during elections.
    Increase the amount of voting precincts to accommodate the increase in newly registered voters.
    Polling stations should be opened on time for 12 hours: 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. to accommodate people who were in line before the cut off time.

    As Liberia advances, in the future, let’s accommodate early voting to reduce the long lines.
    Have interpreters in all Liberian native languages to assist those who are not familiar with English. Also, make room for people with disability to exercise their constitutional right.

    Political parties should be made to pay U.S$10,000.00 as security deposit if they intend to rally or demonstrate in the streets of Monrovia and other major roads around the country: this money is to pay for police protection, for roadblocks/traffic gridlocks, and the inconveniences caused to businesses and the public.

    The Legislators should revise our election laws to move election from the rain season October, to the dry season. This will cut down on the logistical nightmares of impassable roads during the wet season.

    Overall, this election is a learning process. There is always room for improvement. Liberia has come a long way. If we do have a run-off, which is most likely, I hope we have high voters turn out.

    May God bless Liberia and the next president of Liberia whoever he/she may be!

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