Record of The Brenthurst Foundation Election Observer Mission to the Republic of Liberia
The mission met with stakeholders including representatives of most major political parties, the United Nations and other observer missions. President Motlanthe attended and participated in meetings with heads of observer missions.
The mission observed a total of 216 polling places in five counties on election day. Of these, 17 failed to open on time, but were not significantly delayed. At only one station observed by our mission were party agents absent.
Staff of the NEC were professional and managed the polling stations well and voting proceeded without serious incidents except for one which is detailed below.
The performance of youth in the managing of polling and in voting was commendable.
At some stations queue management was poor due to crowded and inaccessible voting rooms and, in some cases, the absence of security officials. Some were not easily accessed by the elderly, pregnant women or persons with disability.
There were, with rare exceptions, no displays of party material on voting station precincts.
Voting stations closed on time, allowing those still queuing to continue voting, sometimes well after dark – 10pm in one case. Counting was done transparently, and party agents were permitted to verify voter choices and resolved disputes by consensus.
At all stations, the results were displayed publicly on the outside of the buildings once signed off by party agents.
Overall, voting day, as observed, was successful and Liberians were able to freely exercise their democratic right.
At Nancy B Doe Jorkpen Town Market, our observers withdrew after an aggressive confrontation arose when four persons claimed to have been prevented from voting. Police were called in and order was restored but a new wave of agitators returned to the precinct. Amidst aggressive and threatening jostling, our observers left the polling precinct. Once the incident had been resolved, counting continued.
The Liberian NEC and the Liberian people should be commended for the conduct of elections on voting day. The Brenthurst Foundation mission calls for an open, transparent, and timely tallying and announcement of final results to ensure that the will of the Liberian people as expressed on voting day is honoured and accepted by all, including all contesting parties.
H.E Kgalema Motlanthe, South Africa
Anna Diamantopoulou, Greece
Aziz Amin, Afghanistan/UK
Diana Games, South Africa
Jędrzej Czerep, Poland
Jordan Ryan, USA
Kate Almquist Knopf, Kenya/USA
Leila Jack, South Africa
Marie-Noelle Nwokolo, Ghana
Omer Gamareldin Ismail, Sudan/USA
Ray Hartley, South Africa
Richard Harper, South Africa
Rutendo Nyaku, Zimbabwe
Woré Ndiaye, Senegal