Citizens of Liberia flocked to the polls October 11 in the first locally organized presidential election since the end of the West African nation's bitter civil war. Results tabulated by the National Elections Commission, or NEC, showed that no candidate received a majority of the vote, so a run-off will be held Nov. 8 between the two leading candidates, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and former United Nations diplomat Winston Tubman.
The United States congratulates the Liberian people for demonstrating their commitment to democracy in the voting, which international observers found to be free, fair, transparent and largely free of problems and irregularities. The United Nations Mission in Liberia contributed significantly to the process by promoting security in the country during the election campaign and on Election Day.
Complaints have been raised about fraud during the election and the U.S. urges the NEC to thoroughly examine and address all charges of irregularities in an open manner. Such diligence is a vital underpinning of the electoral process, lending it credibility and legitimacy.
Going forward, we call on all political party leaders and their supporters to observe the rule of law and respect the official results. Inflammatory rhetoric, intimidation and violence have no place in the political process. The United States will continue to support the people of Liberia and will work with all elected officials to support national ownership of the political process, consolidate democracy, and promote stability and prosperity.