As processes begin to ensure every eligible citizen casts their vote in the ongoing Liberian polls, former President John Mahama who is heading the ECOWAS Mission observing the elections has said that indicators suggest that the process has been good by far.
Addressing media persons, he said though the first phase of the process hasn’t been without glitches, they have been resolved and voting is ongoing.
“So far so good, of course there’s no electoral process without glitches but as the day goes on they resolve the issues.”
Mahama who has been going around various polling centres to observe happenings explained that “in the run up to the election, there were complaints about the late training of electoral officers and presiding officers and it is beginning to show. In some stations, you find out that the electoral officers are confident and they know what they are doing, in other stations, they are a bit unsure how to proceed.”
“The first station we went to, people were showing up with cards, they didn’t have their names in the register and the presiding officer was confused as to how to handle them but in other stations they have clear instructions as to how to handle these things…..otherwise the glitches that took place in the morning have been largely resolved, the process is going on, people are finding their names and if the process is quickened I’m sure by late afternoon, a lot of people would have had the opportunity to vote.”
Liberia is voting today to elect a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is stepping down after 12 years in office.
President Sirleaf, 78, served two six-year terms in power – the constitutionally mandated limit.
Sirleaf, the continent’s first female president, will be the first democratically elected leader in 73 years to hand power over to another elected leader.
Twenty candidates are running for the country’s top job. Liberians will also elect 73 legislators to the House of Representatives (lower chamber), also for six years. No poll will be held for the Senate (upper house) this year.
Official provisional results are expected within two days, but the electoral body has until October 25 to issue its final confirmation of the results and to announce a runoff if necessary for the presidency.
The House of Representatives uses a first-past-the-post system, where the representative with the highest number of votes is elected.