- ECOWAS warns candidates in Liberia’s recent elections against premature victory declarations, citing concerns over undue pressure on the National Elections Commission
- The regional bloc emphasizes the need for adherence to democratic principles and holds stakeholders accountable for potential violence or instability
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has issued a stern warning to candidates participating in Liberia’s recent elections, cautioning them against making premature declarations of victory and pledging to take action against those who incite violence. This advisory comes as Liberia awaits the outcome of its elections, which took place on October 10, where voters decided whether to re-elect football legend George Weah for a second presidential term, alongside electing members of the new parliament. The final results will be announced within two weeks of the vote.
In a statement posted on its website, ECOWAS expressed concern about recent attempts by some Liberian stakeholders to declare premature victories or exert undue pressure on the National Elections Commission (NEC).
While acknowledging the peaceful conduct of the election day in Liberia, ECOWAS reminded political parties and their leaders of their commitments under the revised Farmington River Declaration on peaceful electoral processes, an agreement endorsed by the ECOWAS Commission and the United Nations.
The ECOWAS Commission emphasized the need for all Liberian stakeholders to adhere to democratic principles, as outlined in the Liberian Constitution and relevant laws, as well as ECOWAS legal instruments, including the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
Moreover, ECOWAS warned all stakeholders, including political leaders, the National Elections Commission, and Liberia’s security services. The regional bloc, along with the African Union (AU) and the international community, made it clear that they would hold these stakeholders accountable for any actions that might lead to violence and instability in the nation.
A run-off will be held in early November if no candidate secures an absolute majority in the election.
ECOWAS, comprising 15 West African countries, has faced several regional political crisis since 2020, including military coups in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, and Niger. As such, it is particularly keen on ensuring peaceful and credible electoral processes in its member states, like Liberia, to prevent further regional destabilisation.