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UN Envoy to Liberia Says Run-Off Election Peaceful

UN Envoy to Liberia Says Run-Off Election Was Conducted Peacefully

New York, Nov 8 2005 6:00PM

The run-off election in Liberia between leading presidential contenders Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and George Oppong Weah was conducted in a peaceful and transparent manner, the senior United Nations envoy to the West African country said today.

In a statement made after visiting polling places in Buchanan and Gbarnga and across Monrovia, Alan Doss said the process was free of disruption or violence.

"Today's run-off election offers the people of Liberia the opportunity to leave behind the war that has wrecked this country for so long and to enter into a future of peace and stability," said Mr. Doss, who is the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Liberia.

All of Liberia's 3,070 polling places were open, with polling staff standing by, and voting took place without obstruction to the Liberians who chose to vote.

Mr. Doss refrained from commenting on turnout, pending a count, and from assessing yet whether the voting was free and fair. He also appealed to the candidates "to urge their supporters to be patient in waiting for the results and to accept the results peacefully."

Civilian police and troops from the UN peacekeeping operation in Liberia (UNMIL) were deployed at key locations and patrolled very visibly across the country to ensure a secure voting environment. Five arrests, including three for assault, were reported, according to Mr. Doss, who noted that hundreds of international observers and thousands of domestic observers were on hand to witness and report on any challenges to the proper administration of this run-off election.

"While we do not know this evening which of the two candidates will be chosen as the newly elected leader of Liberia, we do know that today, Liberian voters have taken a major step towards rebuilding their nation," the envoy said.

ENDS

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