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Nov. 8 Liberia Presidential Run-Off Election: Carter Center/National Democratic Institute Observation Delegation Arrival Statement

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Delegation led by former Nigerian Vice President Alex Ekwueme

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) and The Carter Center today announced the arrival of their delegation to observe the November 8 presidential run-off election in Liberia.

Read the background document:
The Oct. 11, 2005, Liberian presidential and legislative elections and the Nov. 8, 2005, runoff elections.

The 28 member multinational delegation is led by former Nigerian Vice President Alex Ekwueme, and includes elected officials, electoral and human rights experts, regional specialists and political and civic leaders from North America, Africa and Europe.

The delegation will draw upon the findings of the ongoing joint election observation mission of NDI and The Carter Center, including the delegation to the October 11 first round election, co-led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former President of Benin, Nicephore Soglo, as well as a pre-election delegation in early September. Together the two organizations have maintained a continuous election monitoring presence in-country through resident staff and long-term observers. They will also monitor developments in the immediate post-election period.

The international observation delegation to the October 11 elections found that following a remarkably peaceful and highly competitive electoral campaign, large numbers of Liberians turned out to vote in an election that was virtually violence free, orderly and well-administered in most of the areas of the country. It called on the NEC to pay particular attention to the procedures concerning electoral complaints and challenges of electoral results, and, in the event of a run-off election, pointed to the need for a massive voter education program to ensure that voters understand the importance of voting in the runoff and are better informed about the voting procedures and the choices facing them.

That delegation concluded that "all sectors of Liberian society should join in embracing the difficult national challenge of establishing inclusive, democratic governance. This is all the more important because some of the factors that contributed to conflict and frailty of the Liberian state still exist and will continue to challenge society as it moves beyond the elections."

The full statement of the first delegation and other pre-election materials are available on the NDI web site at and The Carter Center web site at

On November 5, the delegation to the run-off election will meet in Monrovia with representatives of the political parties in the presidential race, officials of the National Elections Commission, civic leaders, journalists and representatives of the international community. Teams of delegates will then deploy to different sites in 10 counties across the country. The day before polling, each team will meet with local election officials, party representatives, civic groups including domestic election monitors, and others to assess the election environment at their deployment sites. On election day, the teams will visit polling places and remain to observe counting and, in some cases, tabulation in their respective counties.

The teams will then reassemble in Monrovia for debriefing and to prepare a preliminary delegation statement, which will be released on Thursday, November 10.

The delegation will conduct its activities in a nonpartisan, professional manner in accordance with Liberian Law, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and international standards for election monitoring set forth in the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation. NDI and The Carter Center will remain in close communication with other domestic and international observer delegations. The joint election observation project, including the present delegation, is supported by a grant from USAID, with additional support to The Carter Center from the Government of Ireland.


NDI is a nonprofit organization working to strengthen and expand democracy worldwide. Calling on a global network of volunteer experts, NDI provides practical assistance to civic and political leaders advancing democratic values, practices and institutions. NDI works with democrats in every region of the world to build political and civic organizations, safeguard elections, and to promote citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. In Liberia, the Institute is providing assistance to civil society organizations to conduct voter education and election monitoring activities across the country. These programs are supported by USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy. For more information, please visit

The Carter Center is a not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, committed to advancing peace and health worldwide. The Carter Center began working in Liberia in 1990, observed the 1997 Special Elections, and supported local human rights, rule of law, and press organizations from 1998-2000. The Carter Center's separate long-term election observation project is supported by the Government of Ireland. In addition, the Carter Centre UK is implementing an electoral assistance program along with the Electoral Reform International Services, supported by the European Commission. The Carter Center's current work began in July 2005, and Carter Centre UK began its activities in Liberia in March 2005.

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