Ban commends Liberians for holding free and fair presidential election

Special Representative Ellen Margrethe Løj (right) talks to local women in Harper, south-east Liberia

16 November 2011 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today congratulated the people of Liberia for exercising their right to vote in the presidential run-off election earlier this month and commended the country’s authorities for conducting free, fair and transparent elections.

He deplored the violence which took place the day before the poll, which was held on 8 November, and welcomed the creation of a Special Independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate the incident.

“The Secretary-General calls upon the Liberian stakeholders to accept the outcome of the elections and to work together to resolve any outstanding issues,” said a statement issued by his spokesperson. “He emphasizes the importance of a continued dialogue on national reconciliation.”

Liberia’s National Electoral Commission declared incumbent President Johnson Sirleaf the winner of the run-off poll after garnering more than 90 per cent of the vote, while her challenger, Winston Tubman, withdrew from the second round alleging that the first was not fair.

Ms. Johnson Sirleaf told UN Radio in an interview last Thursday that Mr. Tubman had the right to challenge the elections results, but that she was certain that the results would stand because they met the requirement of the country’s constitution and elections laws.

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