Monrovia - In the aftermath of Liberia’s Boxing Day Presidential runoff election, the National Elections Commission (NEC) has been receiving plaudits by international observation missions and a large segment of the voting populace for the ‘orderly conduct’ of the just ended Presidential runoff election between Vice President Joseph Boakai of the ruling Unity Party (UP) and former football legend turned politician, Senator George Weah of the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
Unlike the first round that was marred by allegations of fraud and irregularities which lead to series of legal challenges and delay in the runoff, the December 26 polls have been widely described as successful.
In its preliminary opinion on the runoff, the ECOWAS Commission Elections Observation Mission (EOM), headed by former Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama, the Commission noted that the processing of voters and the casting of ballots followed acceptable standards and were in accordance with the laws and procedures governing elections in the country.
“There was effective presence of security at polling precincts; voter turnout at the opening of the polls, compared to the first round of elections was generally observed to be low; with an average of between 8 to 36 voters on queues."
"However by the end of the day, the voter turnout had improved to about 55 percent,” the EOM observed.
The EOM continued: “On the whole, the processing of voters and the casting of ballots followed acceptable standard and were in accordance with the laws and procedures governing elections in the country.
The improved management of the voting process, the greater familiarity of polling agents and voters with the process, and the vastly reduced numbers of candidates on the ballot paper, ensured a speedy turnover, with each voter needing about a minute to complete the process,” the EOM declared.
Several voters expressed similar sentiments of the ECOWAS Commission Elections Observation Mission.
Speaking to FrontPage Africa, cross section of voters in Montserrado County expressed enthusiasms for participating in the runoff and hailed the National Elections Commission for conducting the polls in an orderly manner.
“I think the process was well organized as compared to the first round in October."
"There was no pushing or shoving".
"I am glad to be here to participate in the process."
"This is very important because it is a crucial time where we are making a decision to have a new President and Vice President, both of whom will be in power for the next six years.
I am glad to be here to participate in the process because I am helping to make a decision as it relates to the future of Mama Liberia and that of my children,” said Miatta Sherman Jallah.
Kolleh James Warner added, “It was organized as compared to the past. The process went on well."
"There was no trouble. Everything went on smoothly.
Lewis Citon of Montserrado County District 5 enthused, “NEC has done their home work. During the first round, they made mistakes, but this time, around they have corrected their mistakes."
"The process went on smoothly.”
Also speaking, Mohamed Jawara of District 6, stated, “This is a history making movement for every Liberian that we can come and fulfill our civic obligation to vote our new leaders. The process was organized. We were not looking for our lines."
"It was not as chaotic as the last time. The polling workers were better trained and more matured.”
Meanwhile, as Liberians and the world await the outcome of the election, NEC said it will on today, Thursday, December 28 begin the announcement of provisional results of the 2017 Presidential runoff.
According to the NEC, tally of votes began on Tuesday, December 27 and is currently ongoing until the final results are announced.