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Carter Center Reports Vibrant and Generally Peaceful Campaigning in Liberia; Urges Steps to Level Playing Field

CONTACTS: Atlanta, Deborah Hakes +1 404 420 5124; Monrovia, Alexander Bick +231 880 424 280

Read Pre-Election Statement (PDF) >

Liberia's upcoming 2011 presidential and legislative elections represent a critical test for the country's transition from war to democratic and constitutional government. Carter Center observers report that campaigning has been vibrant and generally peaceful, and that political parties and independent candidates have been able to move freely and to convey their message to potential voters.

As election day approaches, the Center calls on all parties to reconfirm their commitment to nonviolent participation in the electoral process, to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric or other actions that could lead to violence, and to ensure that the message of peaceful participation consistent with the law is clearly and unequivocally communicated to their partisans at all levels.

At the same time, the Center has observed a significant number of incidents of opposition political parties being denied access to public facilities and of public resources being used for campaign purposes, in violation of regulations on the use of public resources included in the elections law. Specific incidents are detailed in the full report, available at While they represent important violations and should cease immediately, the Center believes that political parties and candidates have sufficient space to conduct meaningful campaigning in advance of the elections.

We acknowledge the National Elections Commission's (NEC) progress in delivering election materials on time and their ongoing efforts to train poll workers, and call on the NEC to ensure that poll workers are adequately trained and paid on time. In addition, civic and voter education programs should be accelerated, particularly in rural areas and the Southeast.

The Carter Center launched its election observation mission in Liberia in early September and has deployed eight long-term observers. The Center is in Liberia at the invitation of the NEC and aims to provide an impartial assessment of the electoral process, made available to Liberians and the international community in periodic public statements. The Center assesses the electoral process based on Liberia's national legal framework and its obligations for democratic elections contained in regional and international agreements.


"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. 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.

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