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Carter Center Issues Assessment of Liberia’s Pre-Election Environment

Contact: In Atlanta, Soyia Ellison,

ATLANTA — In advance of 2017’s key national elections, The Carter Center today released an assessment of the pre-election environment that includes recommendations to help Liberia continue to strengthen its democracy.

“These elections present an historic opportunity for Liberia, and I call on all Liberians to commit to peaceful participation in the democratic process, consistent with the rule of law,” said Jordan Ryan, the Carter Center’s vice president for peace programs and a former United Nations Mission in Liberia deputy special representative.

In April and July, the Center’s Democracy Program sent delegations to Liberia to assess the current political environment and status of technical preparations in advance of presidential and legislative elections anticipated in October 2017. The delegations met with political parties, presidential aspirants, the National Elections Commission, Supreme Court officials, the Liberian National Police, the Press Union of Liberia, civil society leaders, and members of the international community to understand current dynamics and key challenges.

The 2017 national elections represent a critical moment in Liberia’s recovery from war and transition to a peaceful democracy, and the first post-war transition from one elected president to another through a democratic process. These will be the third presidential elections since the end of armed conflict, and a key test for Liberians to consolidate democratic governance through peaceful competition for political power at both the presidential and legislative levels.

There is a strong desire among all Liberians for the elections to proceed smoothly and peacefully. However, there are serious concerns about the post-election environment if the elections fail to meet international standards.

The Carter Center calls on Liberia’s leaders and citizens to commit to peaceful political participation to ensure violence-free elections, consistent with the law, and to continue the strengthening of democracy and development in Liberia.

Among its recommendations:

  • Strengthen campaign-finance regulations and their implementation
  • Provide adequate funding to the National Election Commission
  • Take immediate action to ensure the equal political participation of women

Read the full report and complete list of recommendations here.


"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.