Monrovia, Liberia: Two leading domestic election observation groups in Liberia have expressed grave concern over the slow pace of progress by the National Elections Commission (NEC) on key processes leading toward the holding of presidential and legislative elections in 2023 and this is an early warning indicator for conflict. The Liberia Elections Observation Network (LEON) and the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) are deeply concerned about uncertainties and access to public information surrounding tendering for Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits which could affect the timely conduct of the elections.  The groups note that the credibility of voter registration is a prerequisite for the conduct of a credible election and as such due care must be taken in the conduct of this exercise.

The credibility of elections is key to sustaining the peace and security of the state and this process requires time, openness, inclusion, and timely allocation of resources from the national government to undertake major activities leading up to election day. The groups further assert that the delay in the conduct of the National Housing and Population Census and Voter registration run the following risks: Qualified voters may not be captured to vote in 2023; failure of NEC to reapportion constituencies based on the new population figures in adherence to Article 80 (d) and (e) of the Liberian Constitution.

Additionally, the two institutions say it is shocking that less than one year before the elections, these pre-required processes, which should have already been concluded, are yet to begin. Liberia uses the census and voter registration as the base data for the delimitation and with the delay and uncertainty chances are the country may run into a crisis leading to malapportionment and distorting the equality of representation. These factors combined have the potential to reduce public trust in the electoral process.

Both institutions are of the view that the back-and-forth proceedings between the NEC and the PPCC are a clear demonstration of the lack of coordination and collaboration that are needed for the timely procurement of election materials. The groups believe that conducting Census and voter registration in the same year with limited awareness could undermine the quality of the electoral process and the integrity of its outcome.

In view of the above, LEON and ECC advance the following recommendations:

  • That the Government of Liberia through the responsible institutions including NEC, and PPCC, have an internal discussion to reach a compromise on the procurement of the BVR kit without necessarily violating the PPCC law and ensure the credibility and integrity of the process.
  • The selection of the vendor by the NEC should be done in a transparent and accountable manner with the timely dissemination of information to the public.
  • The NEC should engage LISGIS to develop a framework on how census data will be used for the reapportioning of constituencies.
  • The international development partners supporting the conduct of the 2023 elections should regularly meet with political parties, the electoral management body, and CSOs on formulating scenarios that have the potential to undermine the electoral process and how they can be mitigated.


Both the Liberia Elections Observation Network (LEON) and the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) are the largest domestic elections observation groups comprising several network organizations in Liberia and are working together to ensure credible and integrity of electoral management in Liberia. LEON is funded by Sida and ECC works in partnership with Democracy International with funding from USAID.

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The ECC envisions a Liberia where citizens are knowledgeable, have public confidence, and credibility in the democratic process to make informed decisions.

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