MONROVIA: The European Union has responded to an invitation from Liberian authorities by announcing the deployment of an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to oversee the upcoming general elections scheduled for October 10, 2023.
Leading the mission is Andreas Schieder, a Member of the European Parliament, who has been appointed Chief Observer by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.
This move marks the EU’s ongoing commitment to supporting transparent, peaceful elections in Liberia, Africa’s oldest democracy.
The EU had previously dispatched EOMs to Liberia in 2018, 2012, 2007, and 2002, as well as an Election Follow-up Mission in 2022.
High Representative Josep Borrell emphasized, “This Election Observation Mission underscores our enduring dedication to promoting competitive and fair elections in Liberia. As Chief Observer, Andreas Schieder will provide an independent, evidence-based evaluation of the electoral process.
“The European Union remains a steadfast partner to Liberia, committed to upholding democratic governance,” Chief Observer Andreas Schieder shared his sentiments.
He said: “Leading the EU EOM to Liberia is a privilege. These upcoming elections are pivotal to the country’s democratic progression. I eagerly anticipate engaging with various stakeholders, including state institutions, traditional leaders, political parties, civil society organizations, and the media, all crucial in ensuring an inclusive, peaceful, and credible electoral process.”
The EU EOM is composed of diverse observer groups. The Core Team, comprised of 10 election experts, will arrive in Monrovia on August 27, 2023.
On September 5, 20 long-term observers will join them to monitor the election campaign across the nation.
Subsequently, on Election Day, an additional 40 short-term observers will bolster the mission’s presence throughout the country.
The EU EOM’s involvement will continue until the conclusion of the entire electoral process.
Following the EU’s established election observation methodology, the mission will release a preliminary statement and hold a press conference in Monrovia post-elections.
A comprehensive report containing recommendations for future electoral processes will be presented to stakeholders after the conclusion of the entire electoral cycle, the EU said in a statement.