13 October 2005

Secretary-General Delighted with Conduct of Liberian Elections

NEW YORK, 12 October (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General is delighted that the Liberian presidential and legislative elections took place as scheduled yesterday in a calm, safe and secure environment and that no serious incidents were reported.  Turnout amongst the 1.35 million registered voters was very high.  The elections were monitored by some 3,533 national and 421 international observers representing several organizations.  The main challenge was reaching some 255 inaccessible polling precincts.  United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) air assets had to be used to move polling workers to these areas.  Although polling places officially closed at 6 p.m., those voters who were still standing in line at 6 p.m. were allowed to vote.

The UNMIL provided major logistical and security support to the elections and were present throughout the country.  The counting of the ballots has begun and the National Elections Commission is expected to announce the results as they are submitted from the polling places.  It is expected that the full final results will be announced by 26 October.

The Secretary-General warmly congratulates the people of Liberia for the peaceful and orderly manner in which they turned out to vote in this historic election.  The United Nations will continue to work with the Liberian people to consolidate the peace and promote democratic development, good governance and the rule of law.

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