The European Commission has deployed an EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) for the presidential and parliamentary elections in Liberia scheduled to take place on 11 October. The EOM is a further contribution by the European Commission to supporting peace and democracy in Liberia.
Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, said: "The forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections are a crucial moment for Liberia and, if conducted successfully, will mark a significant step forward for the country. I have, therefore, decided to appoint the Member of the European Parliament Max van den Berg to head an Election Observation Mission to evaluate all aspects of the process and assess whether the elections are conducted in a transparent and credible manner in line with international standards for democratic elections."
The 2005 presidential and parliamentary elections will mark the end of the transition period agreed by political parties following the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement in August 2003. Under the mandate of this agreement, the transitional government is responsible for bringing Liberia back to a normally functioning state. The successful conduct of the elections will be an important milestone in the normalisation of relations and co-operation between Liberia and the European Union.
A core team of election experts has been deployed to Monrovia, to be joined shortly by 20 long-term observers who will be deployed throughout the country to follow the campaign period and pre-election preparations. A total of 40 short-term observers will join the mission in the run up to the elections to observe voting, counting and the tabulation of results. The elections will be assessed in line with international standards outlined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and other relevant African Union (AU) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) documents.
In addition to contributing €2 million for the EOM from the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), a contribution of €7 million is being provided by the European Development Fund (EDF) towards the cost of organising the elections. The EU funds allocated to the country since the signing of the peace agreement amount to more than €180 million.
For additional information, see also:
EU Election Assistance & Observation:
European initiative for Democracy and Human Rights