Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gambia Elections 2011 : Commonwealth Preliminary Statement On Presidential Election

The Commonwealth was invited by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of The Gambia to observe the 24 November Presidential Election. In response to this invitation, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Mr Kamalesh Sharma constituted a five person Commonwealth Expert Team (CET) supported by a professional staff team from the Commonwealth Secretariat. I am honoured to have been invited to Chair the Team which has been present in the country since 18 November 2011, following a pre-election assessment mission led by the Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General in October 2011. During four days of briefings, the Team met a number of stakeholders including the Chairman of the IEC, political party representatives, civil society groups, media, Commonwealth High Commissioners, the United Nations Development Programme, and international, regional and domestic observer groups. This statement is our preliminary assessment of the presidential elections which was held on 24 November 2011. It reflects largely our observations on the pre-election environment, the polling day itself and the post-election phase. Members of the Team were able to cover four of the five regions in the country on Election Day. We exchanged our findings with a number of other international and domestic observers, as well as members of the diplomatic community. These exchanges corroborated most of the impressions which we formed during the course of our observations. We will issue a Final Report containing our conclusions and recommendations on the entire process at a later stage and submit same to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will then transmit it to all the candidates and stakeholders. The Report will subsequently be released to all Commonwealth governments and to the public on the Commonwealth Secretariat website in the coming weeks. Key findings...The Pre-Election Environment The official campaign period was from 12 to 22 November. The Team arrived in Banjul on 18 November and had the opportunity to observe some campaign activities. The Team observed rallies of the ruling party, the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC), and that of a leading opposition party, the United Democratic Party (UDP). We commend political parties and the people of The Gambia for the peaceful manner in which the campaigns were generally held. We also commend the role of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) for regulating the campaign under the Code on Election Campaign Ethics Order (made under section 92(1) of the Elections Act), and ensuring airtime on state media for all parties. A number of interlocutors indicated to the Team that this had raised the visibility of the opposition during the brief campaign period. We do, however, have concerns on the following significant developments, which we felt resulted in an uneven playing field: The short campaign period All opposition parties we met complained that the 11 day official campaign period was too short. We raised this issue with the IEC which explained that this matter had been discussed during meetings of the Inter-Party Committee (IPC), a dialogue mechanism for political parties. According to the IEC, it had assured political parties that they could engage with voters even before the official start of campaign, and that it had informed and obtained the cooperation of the Inspector General of Police for political parties who wished to commence campaigns before the official start of 12 November. We note that all political parties commended the IEC for its increased openness and accessibility during this election and appreciate the good faith in which this assurance was given. We are however of the view that an extended campaign period would have been preferable, and would have contributed to levelling the playing field in this election. Campaign Environment During our briefing sessions, some stakeholders complained that the President's 'Meet the People' tour which took place in July 2011 amounted to campaigning and gave him an undue advantage in the lead up to the presidential election. In this regard we wish to reiterate the conclusion of the report of the Commonwealth Observer Group after the 2006 presidential election which said: "the timing of the President's 'Dialogue with the People' tour was unhelpful, because it had the effect of interfering with the election campaign and providing an undue advantage to the incumbent." We urge that this concern be accorded the seriousness it deserves in order to create a best possible competitive political environment. We note, however, that almost all interlocutors, including some members of the opposition parties, commented on the following improvements during the campaign period: • A conciliatory tone in the rhetoric of the ruling party's candidate in advocating for peaceful elections and refraining from speaking ill of the opposition. We note that the opposition reciprocated this gesture. • The improving role of the IEC and the state media in ensuring that, "for the first time", provisions were made for all political parties to have equal airtime on state television, thereby ensuring the visibility of all parties during the brief campaign period. Advantage of incumbency and use of public resources While we acknowledge the advantages that normally accrue to all incumbents, we observed that the ruling party's use of the state machinery during the campaign period amounted to a serious abuse of incumbency. In this regard, the Team is able to confirm that it witnessed: • The uniformed military personnel participating in the APRC rally held in Banjul on Saturday 19 November 2011. Also, it saw three military trucks transporting youths wearing the party colour and emblem of the APRC in Churchill's Town on 23 November 2011. • The private newspaper, the Observer, carried reports of public institutions, such as the Ministry of Petroleum, donating campaign T-shirts to the APRC. • We received similar reports of public officials openly campaigning for the ruling party; in particular, we found the involvement of governors and their offices in APRC campaigns worrisome. We therefore urge all parties to adhere to the letter and spirit of the Code on Election Campaign Ethics Order, which was violated in this case. A stronger effort should be made in future elections to improve the enforcement of the Code of Conduct, by having clearer enforcement procedures. This would help the IEC to assert its independence and authority. We note that unequal access to funding was evident throughout the campaign period and that there was not a level playing field for the campaign with the advantage of incumbency exploited by the APRC. Indeed, the APRC spent far greater sums of money than that of the two other political rivals put together and, in the absence of campaign spending provisions, the level of competitiveness expected was compromised. We note also that the IEC failed to enforce the Code of Conduct which provides sanctions for such abuses. Ultimately, political will is required to implement these recommendations, which mirror those in the 2006 Commonwealth Observer Group Report. The ruling party's increased victory would suggest that it has nothing to lose in levelling the playing field and in curbing the abuse of incumbency. Polling day The Election Day was peaceful and managed in accordance with the Constitution and Electoral Act 2009. The Team was impressed by the high turnout of voters on Election Day, especially the large numbers or women and young people. The enthusiasm shown by Gambians for the election demonstrated their desire to contribute to the development of democracy in the country. Most polling stations opened on time on or just after 7.00 am. Polling stations were generally well-laid out, and polling officials and party agents present appeared to discharge their duties effectively in areas where Team members observed. We noticed the active role of young people and women as polling officials and party agents. Team members also noted the discreet security presence in a large number of polling stations. There were no overt acts of intimidation during voting. The Gambia has a unique voting system - the use of metallic ballot drums fitted with internal bells which ring once a ballot token, a marble, is dropped into the drum. Voters appeared familiar with this system, and polling officials were often seen listening for the sound of the bell to ascertain that the voter had indeed voted, and to identify any incidents of multiple voting. The secrecy of the vote was guaranteed as ballot drums were placed behind dark screens away from voters, polling staff, party agents and observers. Transparent and broken windows of school classrooms where ballot boxes had been placed were covered with improvised opaque materials. The new voter register appeared robust and we came across few instances where voters with valid voter cards could not find their names on the register. We commend the IEC on its success in this regard. Closing, counting and the results process At 4.00pm when polls closed, Team members witnessed polling officials observing the closing procedures, such as the sealing of the mouth of the ballot drums, with diligence. The ballot drums were then transported to the designated counting centres across the country with adequate security and within view of polling agents and observers. The rules of counting were closely followed; presiding officers publicly announced ballot tokens supplied, those remaining as well as any invalid votes. The seals of the ballot drums were broken in full view of those present, emptied into a sieve, and the marbles arranged into special counting trays holding 200 to 500 marbles at a time. Each candidate's result was publicly announced and the trays holding their tokens shown around before the result was certified. After this, the results were collated and declared by the Assistant Returning Officer before being transmitted to the regional IEC office, and then to the IEC headquarters. The Team was impressed by the general atmosphere of transparency and in some cases, collegiality, within which the closing and counting processes were conducted. The Team also commends the swift announcement of results by the IEC on 25 November, the day after the election. In any electoral process, there will always be room for improvement. We make the following technical recommendations in this spirit: • Although the number of polling stations has been increased to 1302 for the presidential election, some polling stations in urban centres are still large and overcrowded with long queues. We recommend a further increase in polling stations. • Voters' lists need to be more legible with bigger and clearer photos. • A more effective way of managing queues must be devised and efforts should be made to post list of voters in their respective polling stations before polling day. • The current arrangement of transporting ballots drums to counting centres is susceptible to avoidable hazards. It would be much better for the votes to be counted and recorded at polling stations and results displayed accordingly before tallying at collation centres in constituencies. Conclusion During the Team's briefing sessions with a range of stakeholders involved in the political process, some interlocutors highlighted the ruling APRC's achievements in economic development, particularly in the provision of infrastructure and social amenities. In spite of these achievements, the Government of The Gambia has been appropriately criticised for its human rights record including harassment and arbitrary arrests of government critics. Some of these violations have been brought to the attention of the Commonwealth Secretariat and other Commonwealth organisations, and are also well documented. During its briefing sessions, stakeholders further highlighted a number of them to the Team which will be addressed in our Final Report. A number of stakeholders informed us that they were fearful of criticising the government. Others who did not, appeared by their actions to be wary. The impact of these incidents is further exacerbated by the dominance of the executive which has eclipsed the other arms of government, in conflict with the Commonwealth Latimer House Principles on the separation of powers between the executive, legislature and judiciary. The Team also wishes to underscore that all other stakeholders in the democratic process of The Gambia must be allowed to play a more active role in deepening democracy as part of their fundamental human rights: the opposition parties must be given the space to develop into a credible and visible alternative and in this regard they must live up to the people's expectations; civil society and media organisations must be granted the space to empower citizens in a responsible and constructive manner; and the people of The Gambia must continue to engage actively in the wider democratic process building on their participation in this election in order to further strengthen governance processes in the country. The results of this election show that the Government of The Gambia has the mandate of its people to embark on the necessary democratic reforms which will guarantee sustainable economic development. The Commonwealth stands ready to assist in such reforms.

Le Centre Carter déploie une mission d’observation électorale en Côte d’Ivoire

Le Centre Carter a officiellement lancé une mission internationale d’observation électorale en Côte d’Ivoire, pour suivre les préparatifs et le déroulement des élections législatives prévues le 11 décembre 2011. Cette mission répond à une invitation de la Commission Electorale Indépendante. «La tenue des élections législatives représente une étape essentielle pour le renouvellement du mandat du parlement en Côte d’Ivoire,» a déclaré l’ancien Président américain Jimmy Carter. «Le Centre Carter soutient un processus électoral pacifique et ouvert permettant de poser les bases de la réconciliation nationale et de la stabilité.» Le Centre Carter a déployé 18 observateurs de moyen terme pour suivre les préparatifs électoraux. Ils seront rejoints par des observateurs de court terme, à l’approche du scrutin. Les observateurs et l’équipe cadre basée à Abidjan – un groupe de 22 experts électoraux au total représentant 16 pays différents – rencontrent les responsables de l’administration électorale, les partis politiques et les candidats, les représentants de la société civile, y compris les groupes d’observateurs nationaux, les autres missions d’observation internationale, ainsi que d’autres parties prenantes au processus électoral. La mission évalue l’administration électorale et les préparatifs du scrutin, l’environnement de la campagne électorale, les opérations de vote et de dépouillement, la consolidation des résultats et la période post-électorale. La mission évaluera le processus électoral par rapport à la Constitution et au Code électoral, ainsi qu’aux engagements régionaux et internationaux de la Côte d’Ivoire. Le Centre Carter conduit ses activités conformément à la Déclaration de Principes pour l’Observation Internationale d’Elections, adoptée aux Nations Unies en 2005 et endossée par 37 groupes d’observation internationale. Le Centre publiera des déclarations publiques sur le processus électoral, disponibles sur son site internet : www.cartercenter.org. Le Centre Carter est présent en Côte d’Ivoire depuis 2008. Le Centre a observé le processus d’identification et de recensement électoral, le contentieux de la liste électorale provisoire et les élections présidentielles de 2010. La mission du Centre Carter en Côte d’Ivoire est appuyée par un bureau à Abidjan, dirigé par Mme Sabina Vigani. #### « Faire progresser la Paix. Combattre les Maladies. Construire l'Espoir ». Organisation non gouvernementale à but non lucratif, le Centre Carter a aidé à améliorer les conditions de vie des populations dans plus de 70 pays, par la résolution de conflits, en promouvant la démocratie, les droits de l'homme et les opportunités économiques, par laprévention de maladies, en améliorant les soins de santé mentale, en formant des agriculteurs à l'accroissement de la production des récoltes dans les pays en développement. Le Centre Carter a été fondé en 1982 par l'ancien Président des États-Unis Jimmy Carter et son épouse Rosalynn en partenariat avec l'Université Emory, dans l'objectif de faire progresser la paix et la santé à travers le monde.

The Carter Center Launches Election Observation Mission to Côte d’Ivoire

Following an invitation from the Independent Electoral Commission, The Carter Center has launched an international election observation mission to Côte d’Ivoire to monitor preparations and the conduct of legislative elections anticipated on Dec. 11. “These elections are an essential step to renew the mandate of the parliament in Côte d’Ivoire,” former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said. “The Carter Center urges a peaceful and open electoral process, laying the ground for national reconciliation and stability.” The Carter Center deployed 18 medium-term observers to monitor electoral preparations. A group of short-term observers will be deployed shortly before election day. The observers and the Abidjan-based core team– a group of 22 election experts representing 16 countries – are meeting with election officials; political parties and candidates; civil society representatives, including domestic observers groups; other international election observation missions; and other relevant stakeholders. The mission is monitoring the election administration and preparations, the campaign period, voting and counting operations, tabulation of results, and the post-election period. The Carter Center will assess Côte d'Ivoire's electoral process against the Constitution and the electoral law, commitments made in the Ouagadougou Peace Accords, other agreements, and regional and international commitments. The Center conducts its election observation activities in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, which was adopted at the United Nations in 2005 and has been endorsed by 37 election observation groups. The Center will release public statements on the electoral process, available on its website: www.cartercenter.org. The Carter Center has been present in Côte d’Ivoire since 2008. The Center monitored the identification and voter registration process, the verification of the provisional voter list, and the 2010 presidential elections. The Carter Center mission in Côte d’Ivoire is supported by an office in Abidjan, led by Sabina Vigani. #### "Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope." A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. Please visit www.cartercenter.org to learn more about The Carter Center.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Opposition boycott of polls dominates Liberia Media


On the eve of Liberia second run elections, most newspaper lead with the news on Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) boycott of the elections, The New Republic main front page story reads "No Turning Back – CDC Insists On Staying Away From Runoff" The Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) has dug in the heels and tacitly taken a'' no turning back posture'' not to participate in the runoff elections for reasons shrouded in failure of stakeholders to consider its grievances and concerns. Ordinary Liberians, envoys of foreign missions accredited to Liberia, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and many others have been encouraging the CDC to relinquish its demands and return to the status quo but to no avail as the party has made it clear it would only participate if its demands were met; something many see as being too swallow. Cllr. Winston Tubman who was invited to Abuja by the Chairman of ECOWAS, Nigerian president Good luck Jonathan, told the nation Saturday that the party's position was irreversible, stressing '' the CDC will never reward fraud by taking part in the runoff election. If he the party does, according to him, it will be tantamount to granting legitimacy to what he described '' a corrupt history. Mr. Winston Tubman, the CDC'S standard- bearer has called on Liberians to give up their franchise; their rights to vote.

In the same vein, CDC standard bearer Tubman on why his party is boycotting run- off elections was the lead of Front Page. The paper wrote: I have just returned from Abuja on the invitation of the Nigerian President and Chairman of ECOWAS. I am grateful to him for the seriousness with which he continues to treat the current Liberian electoral situation. I believe we had a frank exchange of views. The contact between us continues. As we approach Nov-8-2011, the bulk of the CDC's complaints of voting irregularities that marred the Oct-11-2011 ballot remain unaddressed. After the resignation of Mr. James Fromayan, the flawed infrastructure remains intact at the national elections commissions, NEC. In our last press statement we said that the removal of Mr. Fromayan was an important first step in the process toward transparency, does resolve all the significant issues. With barely four days to Nov-8, we officially inform the Liberian people and the world that the CDC cannot participant in the Nov-8 ballot.  We call on all CDCians, well-wishers and Liberian to stay away from the polls on Nov-8. Any government coming out of the Nov-8 process will be one without a national mandate to govern and will not be recognized by the CDC.

Following the trend of boycott stories, the Heritage lead with "ECOWAS: CDC's Statement to Boycott- Run-Off Election Unfortunate". In this story the Heritage reports that The ECOWAS Commission says its attention has been drawn to an undated press statement titled ''CDC Final positions on the holding of elections on Nov-8-2011'' and issued on 4 Nov-2011 by Ambassador Winston Tubman, standard bearer of the congress for Democratic Change(CDC), in the aftermath of a meeting held a day earlier in Abuja with Goodluck Jonathan, president of Nigeria and chairman of the ECOWAS Authority. In the statement, Ambassador Tubman informs about the withdrawal of CDC from the 8-nov-2011 presidential run-off election and calls on CDC followers and Liberians in general to stay away from the poll, citing  unaddressed CDC complaints about voting irregularities in  the course of the first round of the  election that took place on 11-oct- 2011. The ECOWAS Commission regards this statement as unfortunate, as it is intended to undermine the election and the democratic process that Liberians are striving hard to consolidate. It also goes against the grain of the discussions that Ambassador Tubman held with the Chairman of the Authority. In that meeting, the chairman advised the CDC leadership against boycotting the reminder of the electoral process, and impressed upon them that it was too late in the day, and quit against the relevant ECOWAS Protocols, for the CDC to demand changes that would require a consensual constitutional process of amending relevant electoral laws.

Subsequently, the chairman strongly urged Ambassador Tubman and all Liberians to endeavor to fully participate in the run-off in order to ensure a credible outcome and assist in the consolidation of democratic culture in the country.

According to the Heritage, writing the under headline "Ellen, Tubman Clash", the paper indicated that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has accused the standard- bearer of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), Cllr.Winston Tubman of violating the Constitution by calling on CDC partisans to boycott Tuesday's president run-off polls.

 The presidential run-off is between the ruling Unity Party (UP) and the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC). The presidential run-off election is triggered by the failure of any of the 16 presidential candidates who participated in the Oct-11 presidential and legislative elections to win an absolute majority (50% plus 1) of the total valid votes cast as enshrined in the Liberian constitution. According to the constriction, which is regarded as the organic law of the country, if no candidate obtains an a absolute majority (50% plus 1) of the total votes cast in the  presidential race, them a run-off is necessary.


In Profile also contribute to boycott dominating the Liberia media on the eve of the second run presidential elections with " Face Off " headline, the paper reports that the runoff presidential election in Liberia is expected to take place tomorrow November 8th, amidst a deadlock that has kept a participating opposition party-CDC threatening to boycott the process. CDC refrained from allowing its vice standard Bearer George Oppong Weah participate in a runoff debate with UP Vice presidential Candidate Joseph Nyumah Boakia on Thursday, Nov-3rd in  Monrovia, something observers said was a slap in the face of the process.

'' The political spirit we enjoyed during the first round of legislative and presidential elections has diminished  because the exercise has become a one team show,'' a disappointed Liberian told the IN Profile Daily Friday evening in central Monrovia.  Fanatics of UP have been heard claiming that CDC is afraid of defeat to get into the race, but critics have argued that if the ruling UP was in the opposition camp it would insist in the same form and manner especially when there are grounds to hold and put forth preconditions before taking part in the process.





The Independent also reports that "America Not Happy With CDC" the paper said according to a US Government, '' as evidenced by international and domestic observers, the October-11 first- round presidential and legislative polls were fair, free and transparent. We are supportive of moving forward with the Nov-8 election as called for by the National Election Commission (NEC). Participation in elections is a fundamental part of democracy. We commend all Liberians for their peaceful participation in the elections, and encourage all Liberians to exercise their political voice and vote on Nov-8,'' the statement noted.

Accordingly, the US government has commended leadership of ECOWAS for their important contributions coupled with the role of UNMIL in promoting security during the electoral period as well as working with all sides to protect the integrity of Liberia's democracy.

The US government including the international community has reiterated their commitment to sent observers again to monitor the election process as resorting to violence is unacceptable.


In spite of the boycott, Front page is quoting the ruling Unity Party candidate and president asking voters 'GO OUT AND VOTE'.  The standard bearer of the ruling Unity Party, UP President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called on all eligible voters in Grand Bassa County to turn out and vote in the November 8 Run-off elections.

''we want to say to you, Nov-8, your constitutional right is to go out and vote, that's the one thing you have in your constitution. Nobody can take that one from you because when you get behind that screen, that's just you and your God and your conscience; and you go and vote the way how you want to vote. Don't let somebody deny you that one,'' President Sirleaf urged the Bassa people to vote for a better Liberia and the future of their children. She expressed gratitude for the support given her by the Liberty Party strongman Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskin. President Sirleaf said, we are going to continue to work for the democracy that so many have suffered for and we are going to continue to build institutions as political parties. Cllr. Brumskine and I have talked about that, we want to make sure liberty party retains itself, that liberty party grows in strength, that liberty party is prepared to compete in other elections.'' Speaking to citizens of grand bassa at the fair ground in Buchanan during a last minute campaign, president Sirleaf reminded them that Liberia is for all Liberians irrespective of their political affiliation.

Cllr.Brumskin urged his  supporters to  commit themselves in ensuring that president sirleaf is  reelected by  turning out to  vote come Tuesday Nov-8,2011. After the first round as you know I met with president sirleaf and I committed that I would support her in the second round. I did not stop there, I came to Grand Bassa County on Wednesday, went on the radio, spoke to all of the bassa people, met with liberty partisans and I said to you this is not our time, this is the time of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,'' he said.

The Daily Observer lead with news on the preparations for the runoff " Run-Off Set for Tomorrow" it reports that despite a boycott planned by the opposition Congress for Democratic Change CDC, the national election commission has vowed to go forward with a run-off tomorrow to determine the country's next president.

CDC standard bearer Winston Tubman announced the boycott on, immediately sparking a strong reaction from incumbent president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the Unity Party.

Last Saturday, at a press conference at CDC headquarters in Monrovia, Tubman responded by accusing Johnson-Sirleaf of trying to intimidate him and of violating his right to free speech. '' There is nothing in our laws that compels Liberians to vote or not to vote, and to call upon them to vote or not to  vote is  no violation at all—it is an expression of my free speech Constitutionally guaranteed''. He added that the president's statement ''makes people feel that an effort is being made to silence me, to intimidate me, to make me afraid to speak what I believe needs to be said.

Assessing the conduct of upcoming second run presidential elections, The News lead with : ''No Plan To Disrupt Election'' The paper indicated that Congress for Democratic Change CDC standard bearer Cllr. Winston Tubman has trashed newspapers report that partisan of the CDC have planned to disrupt Tuesday's presidential run-off. There are media reports that CDC loyalists have planned to prevent people from voting on Tuesday by throwing stones at voters who would turn out.

The CDC has said it would not participate in the run-off election and has called on all its partisans and supporters stay away from the process. But Cllr. Tubman in an interview on Sunday said he is not aware of any plan to prevent people from voting on tomorrow. He explained that there is no plan bye the CDC to disrupt people of their legitimate rights to vote. '' I have no intention to call on my supporters to go and interfere with the right of people because when we start to do that, violence would be provoked and we don't want violence,'' he said.

We conclude our review for today with The News which lead with "ECOWAS Will Recognize Runoff Results If…………" The news said the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS has reiterated that it will recognize the verdict of the Liberian people arising from the 8 November presidential run-off election provided, ''the preparations and conduct of the second round of the presidential election are adjudged by the competent authorities and endorsed by credible observers to be in accordance with the electoral laws of Liberia.''

The ECOWAS position statement on the pending run-off election was contained in a release from Abuja, Nigeria following reports that the opposition Congress for Democratic change CDC of Ambassador Winston Tubman had maintained its threat to boycott Tuesday's poll. In view of the CDC's continuous boycott threat, the ECOWAS Commission said it deeply regrets the retrogressive tone of Ambassador Winston Tubman's statement, which seeks to disrupt the concluding phase of the 2011 presidential election. The commission has however said it has launched a final appeal to the CDC, and all Liberia stakeholders, not to miss '' this historic opportunity of consolidating democracy and peace in the country, and to actively participate in the 8 November poll.''

This daily news review is compiled by African Elections Project (AEP) Media Monitoring Center at LMC, Monrovia, Liberia.