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Liberia Elections: President Carter Calls for Clean Campaign

CONTACT:

In Monrovia: Ashley Barr, +231 (0)6 452 022
In Atlanta: Deanna Congileo, + 001 404-420-5108

MONROVIA…. The Carter Center’s Liberia Election Observation Project called for fair and honest campaigning for the Oct. 11, 2005, Liberian presidential and legislative elections, as the official campaign period begins today.

“I call upon all Liberians to put their country first and to conduct the campaign with fairness and integrity so that voters can exercise their right to choose their next government freely,” said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. “I welcome the commitments that have been made to the Political Parties’ Code of Conduct and I urge that its principles be followed strictly and enforced consistently.”

Registered political parties have voluntarily agreed to abide by the Code of Conduct that they jointly signed - the first in Liberia's history. The Code was adopted to establish and acknowledge “a minimum standard of acceptable behavior for Political Parties and their supporters and to safeguard against political violence, intimidation and manipulation.” It also recognizes that “inclusiveness, tolerance, transparency and pluralism are necessary for an effective democracy.” The code includes enforcement mechanisms.

Carter Center long-term observers have visited 13 counties so far to begin monitoring the election process. They are meeting with the full range of election stakeholders, including representatives of the NEC, political parties, and independent candidates. The Center will continue monitoring the campaign period throughout the country. In addition, the Center and National Democratic Institute for International Affairs will partner for international observation of the election process. The two organizations will conduct an assessment of the campaign period in September and will deploy international observers nationwide during the week of the election. The Center will remain in Liberia through the end of November to monitor post-election developments.

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The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 65 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production. Please visit www.cartercenter.org to learn more about The Carter Center.

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