The Economic Community of West African States has urged Liberia’s election candidates to avoid premature victory claims, warns of sanctions for violence
The regional bloc called on the contenders in Liberia’s recent polls to respect the electoral process and refrain from making any early declarations of victory, saying it would not tolerate any violence.
ECOWAS in a statement on its website on Sunday said that it was aware of some attempts by some Liberian stakeholders to announce premature victories or pressure the National Elections Commission.
“The attention of the ECOWAS Commission has been drawn to attempts by some Liberian stakeholders to declare premature victories or put undue pressure on the National Elections Commission,” the statement read.
Liberians went to the polls on October 10 to decide whether to give President George Weah, a former football star, another term in office, and to elect their new lawmakers.
Counting votes is still ongoing, and the official results are expected to be announced within two weeks of the vote.
“The ECOWAS Commission admonishes all Liberian stakeholders to abide by the democratic tenets of a peaceful and credible electoral process as provided for by the Liberian Constitution and other relevant laws, as well as ECOWAS legal instruments, especially the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
“The ECOWAS Commission further cautions all stakeholders, including political leaders as well as the National Elections Commission and the security services of Liberia that ECOWAS, the AU and the international community will hold them accountable for any actions that may lead to violence and instability,” the statement further read.
The bloc praised the Liberian people for their peaceful conduct on Election Day but reminded the political parties and their leaders of their commitments under the revised Farmington River Declaration on the peaceful electoral process, which ECOWAS and the UN endorsed.
If none of the candidates wins more than 50% of the vote in the election, a second round will be held in early November.