Daily Media Summary 2017-10-09

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia


Today’s edition of our summary of the local dailies highlights news of the Elections Coordinating Committee’s pronouncement on its deployment of over two thousand elections observers of different categories across the country.


The summary also includes President Sirleaf Proclamation declaring Tuesday, October 10, 2017, as General and Presidential Elections Day to be observed throughout the Republic as a National Holiday.



Elections Coordinating Committee Deploys Over 2000 Elections Observers Across Liberia

As Liberians go to the polls on Tuesday, October 10, the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC), in keeping with its mandate has announced the deployment of 2,170 elections observers of different categories across the country. In a statement issued over the weekend, the ECC noted that the first category includes 89 long term observers and 2,000 short term observers deployed in all of the 73 electoral Districts.  Of the 2000 observers, according to the ECC, 832 observers will be systematically deployed as Rapid Response Observers; and out of these, 500 will be part of a national sample based on a proportional distribution by District. According to the FrontPage Africa newspaper, the EEC has called on major stakeholders including the National Elections Commission (NEC), political parties, the Judiciary, the security sector, the media, voters, and elections observer groups to perform their respective duties to ensure a peaceful process. The ECC among other things recommended that in order for the NEC to safeguard the integrity of the process, the NEC must demonstrate a high degree of neutrality and transparency in the conduct, counting, tallying and announcement of results.


Related Captions: ECC Wants Neutrality, Transparency In Elections (The INQUIRER), ECC Releases Statement Climaxing Campaign And Preparing The Nation For And After Election Day (Heritage)




Ellen Declares Tuesday, Elections Day…To Be Observed as National Holiday

The Heritage newspaper reads that: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has by Proclamation declared Tuesday, October 10, 2017, as General and Presidential Elections Day and is to be observed throughout the Republic as a National Holiday. The Proclamation calls on all citizens and foreign residents within the borders of Liberia to respect, specifically this holiday, which marks a peaceful transition of power in Liberia. The Presidential Proclamation further directs and orders all government offices, business houses and market places closed on that day, from six o’ clock ante meridian to six o’ clock post meridian. The Proclamation is in consonance with Chapter VIII, Article 83a of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, which provides that the holding of elections for President, Vice President and members of the House of Representatives, shall be conducted throughout the Republic on the Second Tuesday in October of each election year.


AU Head Of Election Observation Team Arrives

Erustus J.O. Mwencha, former Deputy Chairperson of the African Union has arrived in Liberia as Head of the African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM), the Daily Observer says the AUEOM is in the country at the invitation of the Government of Liberia and the National Elections Commission (NEC). According to the daily, the AUEOM will release a statement on its preliminary findings on the conduct of the elections at a press conference to be held on October 12.


LENO Opens Data Center

The Liberia Elections Observation Network (LEON) announces the opening of its operations and data center at the Headquarters of the Federation of Liberian Youth, FLY in Monrovia. LEON says it will analyze data as they arrive from the field thru SMS submitted by 140 Long Terms Observers (LTOs) and 1000 Short Terms Observers (STOs). These SMS go directly in the LEON database through specially developed software. It has a team of data analysts working in shifts, who will be analyzing information on opening, voting and counting throughout Election Day. The Liberia Elections Observation Network is a platform of four Liberian Civil Society Organizations: The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (JPC), Liberia Crusaders for Peace (LCP), Federation of Liberia Youth (FLY) and National Union of Organizations for the Disabled (NUOD) with the goal to meaningfully contribute to the democratization process in Liberia by providing an avenue for civil society to participate in monitoring and observing the 2017 elections, asserts the New Dawn newspaper.


Related Caption: Elections Observatory Group To Analyze SMS Data…Releases Campaign Report (Heritage)

President Sirleaf Opens Women’s Situation Room

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Sunday inaugurated the Women’s Situation Room (WSR) for the promotion of peace before, during and after the 2017 presidential and representative elections. The Daily Observer says the WSR is a women’s peace building mechanism to mitigate conflict before, during and after elections in African countries. It mobilizes women in collaboration with youth to ensure their active participation in peaceful electoral processes. The WSR is a non-partisan, neutral endeavor. At the launch, President Sirleaf expressed thanks to Liberian youth for maintaining the peace the country now enjoys as they (the youth) are now getting to understand the importance of a peaceful nation

Roberts Int’l Airport Closes On Eve Of Elections

According to the Heritage newspaper, the Liberia Airport Authority (LAA) says it will shut the only internationals airport today, Monday, October 9, the eve of the country’s Presidential and Representative Elections to resume second phase rehabilitation work on the runway. According to the LAA, the rehabilitation will also include installation of new aeronautical ground lighting systems. “In view of the development, and in consultation with the airline, the runway will be closed to air traffic on Mondays and Thursdays, beginning October 9,” the LAA said in a press statement. The LAA statement said that alternative way to enter Liberia during the closure would be by the country’s land borders with Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone, with poor option by sea.

LWSC Partners With GSM Companies Mobile Money Service

The management of the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation (LWSC) has entered into Memorandum of Understanding with two of Liberia’s GSM companies operating mobile money services in the country. The two GSMs are Lonestar and Orange Liberia. Mobile Money is a term that refers to mobile financial services, mobile payment, mobile banking, mobile money transfer and mobile wallet – all of which are payment services operated under financial regulation and performed from or via a mobile device. LWSC Managing Director N-Hun Bu Tulay said the Corporation has been suffering losses due to difficulties customers have in going to the banks, especially for customers who have to pay minimum amounts. Mr. Tulay said the MTN and Orange mobile money partnerships are for appropriate and safe delivery of the government’s finances and noted that the agreement took effect as of Friday, October 6, the day it was officially signed. He urged customers to take advantage of the technology available to pay their bills, reads the INQUIRER newspaper.

Liberia Needs To Graduate From Subsistence Farming

The West Africa Regional Fisheries Project Coordinator Yevewuo Subah wants Liberia to graduate from subsistence to mechanic farming to ensure food sufficiency here. Mr. Subah notes that 70 percent of Liberians depend on agricultural livelihoods, but most Liberian farmers are poor as they depend on subsistence farming which barely produces enough to feed their individual families. He spoke during a presentation at the Governance Commission’s Agriculture and Food Security Forum held recently at the Corina Hotel in Monrovia.  Speaking on the topic, “Agriculture: Commercial and Enterprise Development”, He says Liberia’s agriculture sector is still plagued by a number of challenges including managerial, environmental, climatic, economical, and development which continue to hamper the country’s growth and development. Mr. Subah continues that these challenges also include Structural constraints, inadequate policy implementation, displacement of farming communities due to conflict, degraded transportation, production and other infrastructures, and diminished productive capacities, reports the New Dawn newspaper.


Renowned Liberian Economist, Dr. Byron Tarr, Is Dead

Dr. S. Byron Tarr, former Minister of Finance, and renowned Liberian economist and writer died at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night, October 7, at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital in Monrovia following a protracted illness. He was in his 74th year. According to the Daily Observer, Dr. Tarr served as Finance Minister in the Interim Government of National Unity, (IGNU) 1990-1992; Deputy Minister of Finance for Revenue, 1972-75; Transnational Corporation Affairs Officer at the United Nations, 1975-77; Controller General for Public Corporations, 1977-80; and founding partner, Development Consultants.