Former President John Dramani Mahama has said the ongoing Liberia elections have so far been generally peaceful.
John Mahama, who is leading an ECOWAS Observer Mission to monitor the election in that country, told the media that although there were few hitches and late start of voting in some polling centers, the process has been “so far so good.”
“Of course, every electoral system has some glitches, but as the day goes on, they resolve the issue. In a few polling stations they didn’t start on time, they started around 8:30am. In the places that we have visited, it looks like the process is ongoing now.”
Speaking further, the former Ghanaian president said there were earlier complaints about late training of presiding and electoral officers which began to reflect at the onset of the polls as officials at some polling units were seen not knowing exactly what to do.
He however, assured that the situation has been taken care of, adding that despite the long queues, majority would succeed in casting their votes by late afternoon.
John Mahama, the immediate-past president of Ghana was appointed head of a 71-member ECOWAS Election Observation Mission comprising journalists and former diplomats from Commonwealth Member States. To perform this role, Mr. Mahama left Accra for Monrovia on Thursday, October 5.
Liberians are today [Tuesday, October 10], casting their ballots to elect a new president and legislators for the country.
The 2017 Liberia elections which is the country’s third postwar presidential and legislative polls has been described as the country’s most hotly contested since the inception of multiparty system in the 1980’s.
About 1,000 candidates representing 26 political parties are said to be contesting for the legislative slots while 20 candidates are vying for presidency among whom is retired legendary Liberian footballer, George Weah.
Incumbent Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female president who has ruled for two tenures is now ineligible to run having exhausted the constitutionally mandated term limits.
January 2018 will therefore mark the first time in recent history that a democratically elected Liberian president will hand over power to a similarly elected head of state.