8 November 2005

Secretary-General Pleased with Arrangements for Liberian Run-Off Election

NEW YORK, 7 November (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement is attributable to the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General is pleased to note that the Liberian National Elections Commission, with support from United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and other partners, has put in place all the necessary arrangements for the second round of presidential elections to take place on schedule, tomorrow, 8 November.  The Secretary-General also commends the two presidential candidates, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and George Oppong Weah, for their personal commitment to a peaceful campaign.

The Secretary-General calls on all Liberians registered to vote to do so in a peaceful and orderly manner, just as they did during the first round on 11 October.  The Secretary-General wishes to emphasize that the run-off election offers the people of Liberia an opportunity to elect a President to lead the country into a new era of peace, democracy and prosperity.  He, therefore, urges all registered voters not to miss this unique opportunity.

The Secretary-General wishes, once again, to assure the Liberian people that UNMIL, working closely with Liberia's security agencies, will maintain a safe and secure environment, to enable them to cast their votes without fear of intimidation or violence.  Thousands of international and Liberian electoral observers will also be deployed throughout the country to monitor the polling process.  The Secretary-General calls on all Liberians to accept the results of the presidential elections so that the country can continue to build a future based on a solid democratic foundation.

* *** *