European Union to Observe Elections

MONROVIA, Montserrado – European Union elections observers are expected to monitor the pending October 10, 2017, representatives and presidential elections in Liberia.

This was made known on Monday, August 28 in Monrovia after Liberia’s Foreign Minister Marjon Kamara and Tiina Intelmann, outgoing head of the EU delegation to Liberia, signed a memorandum of understanding.

According to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press statement, the MOU marks the final agreement to be signed by Intelmann as she ends her tenure to Liberia.

The press statement noted that the signing of the agreement is based on the Liberian government’s request to the EU since February 2017 to observe the polls.

“The EU has accepted the invitation to observe the elections with an elections observation mission ready for deployment,” the press statement said.

The EU mission is expected to maintain strict impartiality, objectivity, and independence in the conduct of their mandate, the release said, adding that “the observers will abide by the code of conduct for European observers and other international principles.”

The MOU compels the Liberian government to “provide the observers with any assistance required for the implementation of the mission’s mandate.”

Meanwhile, Intelmann stressed that the pending October elections are crucial to the European Union.

Speaking recently on the Liberia Broadcasting Corporation, Intelmann said the EU has made huge investments to Liberia and would like to see these investments sustained.

She noted that the EU has contributed to projects conducted by the United Nations Development Programme and UNMIL operations in Liberia.

“EU members states are the main contributors to the UN budget,” she said.

She also recounted the support to infrastructure, education, governance, and agriculture as well as policy reforms, stressing that “any setback from such progress will be sad.”

“European taxpayers’ monies are being given generously globally and also in Liberia,” Intelmann said.

She, however, expressed confidence that Liberia will have free, fair and transparent elections.

Featured photo courtesy of Yanni Koutsomitis

Zeze Ballah

Zeze made his journalism debut as a high school reporter at the LAMCO Area School System. In 2016 and 2017, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Zeze with the Photojournalist of the Year award. Zeze was also the union's 2017 Health Reporter of the Year. He is a Health Journalism Fellow with Internews.

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