Joint Local Statement on the Special Senatorial Elections in Liberia

The diplomatic community in Liberia and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) look forward to a free, fair, transparent, and peaceful process for the Special Senatorial Elections scheduled for 20 December 2014. Recognising that this is a sovereign process, we call on all stakeholders to help ensure all eligible Liberians are able to participate freely and safely.

We recognize that holding elections at this time of a national health crisis is challenging. We therefore welcome the precautionary steps taken by the National Elections Commission (NEC) and urge people to participate actively but prudently in the elections. With the objective of protecting the electorate and general public in light of the ongoing Ebola epidemic, we advise that the NEC widely publicize and disseminate relevant guidelines, procedures, and health-related measures.

In furtherance of the same public safety objectives, we urge candidates and political parties to conduct peaceful campaigns that respect the rule of law; to abide by the code of conduct for candidates; and to adhere to all rules and regulations promulgated by the NEC for the conduct of elections, including health-related measures during campaigns. We also urge all candidates and political parties to adhere to the proper procedures for filing any complaints and raising any challenges to the results. To have peaceful elections, all stakeholders must also commit to the peaceful resolution of any disputes
that arise.

We urge all media outlets to be responsible in their reporting, avoid sensationalism, judiciously check facts, and disseminate accurate information.

We encourage all Liberians to exercise their civic rights responsibly, to respect the NEC procedures established for conducting the voting and the tabulation of the results, and to await announcement of the official results.

This statement is issued jointly by the African Union, the Special Representative of the President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Delegation of the European Union, the E.U. Heads of Mission of France, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, and the Heads of Mission of Brazil, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and the United States, and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).