Daily Media Summary 2017-10-12

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia




News of the National Elections Commission’s pronouncement that it would begin announcing provisional election results today, the United States’ State Department’s salutation to the people of Liberia for the peaceful conduct of the October 10 elections and the Government of Liberia condolence message to the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria following the death of former Chief of Army Staff and Force Commander of the Economic Community of West African States, retired Lieutenant General Victor Samuel Leonard Malu are the stories highlighted in today’s edition of our summary of the local dailies.


NEC Begins Announcing Provisional Results Today ‘No Result Is Official Except From NEC,’ Says Korkoya

The Daily Observer reports that the Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya, has called on the general public to accept only elections results from the NEC. In his first post-election day address Wednesday, Chairman Korkoya said the NEC will today, Thursday October 12, begin announcing official preliminary results of the October 10 Presidential and Legislative elections. He added that celebrations coming from candidates and their supporters in the name of taking leads should not in any way cause problems for others as no results are yet official unless the NEC makes the announcement.

Related Captions: NEC Begins Releasing Results Today…As Unconfirmed Reports Say Some Incumbent Lawmakers Retain Posts (The INQUIRER), Liberians Await Poll Results (INSIGHT), NEC Begins Releasing Preliminary Results Today (Heritage)

U.S. Urges Liberians To Await Official Results

The United States Department is urging Liberians to patiently await the results of Tuesday October 10 polls, as preliminary results are tricking in. The New Dawn newspaper quotes a statement from the U.S.  States Department issued Wednesday as saying it applauds the people of Liberia for exercising their democratic right to vote in the historic presidential and legislative elections. This is an important step toward achieving Liberia's first peaceful transfer of power from one democratically-elected head of state to another in decades. The statement says the United States stands by the people of Liberia in their efforts to continue building their country, its democracy, and its future.

Related Captions: For Tuesday Polls: America Applauds Liberia…Says All Must Look To NEC For Announcement Of Result (INSIGHT), US Gov’t Salutes Liberians (The INQUIRER)

Liberia Consoles Nigeria on the Death of Former ECOMOG Force Commander

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has sent a message of condolence to the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, following the death of former Chief of Army Staff and Force Commander of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), peacekeeping force in Liberia and Sierra Leone, ECOMOG, retired Lieutenant General Victor Samuel Leonard Malu. Lt. Gen. Malu served as Chief of Army Staff under President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration from May 1999 to April 2001. Later in his career, he served as ECOMOG Force Commander in Liberia and Sierra Leone from December 1996 to April 1998. He died in the early hours of Monday, October 9, at a hospital in Cairo, Egypt. He was 70 years old. Quoting a Foreign Ministry release, the Heritage newspaper reads that the Liberian leader, in the message to her Nigerian counterpart, His Excellency Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, characterized General Malu as “a decorated soldier, who will be remembered in Liberia for risking everything including his personal life in the search for peace in Liberia”. The Liberian leader stressed that on this sad occasion, Liberians of all ages and social stratum wish to pay tribute to his selfless work in the country to secure peace and stability.

Related Captions: Former ECOMOG Force Commander Is Dead (The INQUIRER),  Fmr ECOMOG Force Commander Malu Is Dead (The New Dawn)


NEC Admits To Inadvertent Errors

The Chairman of the National Elections Commission, Mr. Jerome G. Korkoya, has admitted to some inadvertent errors which were done by NEC’s workers on the day of voting, especially those responsible to control the polling exercise. Chairman Korkoya made the assertion at a news conference on Wednesday, October 11 at the Head office of the commission in Sinkor. The Commission apologized to voters for the long waiting time in some places and at the same time commended the NEC staff workers who spent the night in the interest of their country, reads the INQUIRER newspaper.

Related Caption: NEC Takes Responsibility-For Voters’ Nightmare (The New Dawn)

AU, ECOWAS Observers Hail Liberia’s Gains at Polls But Mahama Notes Some Stakeholders  Not Satisfied With NEC’s Explanation Regarding Printing Of Extra 30 Percent Ballot Papers…

Following Tuesday’s polls, the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) election observers’ missions have applauded Liberians across the country for allowing the holding of peaceful elections. Delivering their joint preliminary statement on the just-ended elections, the heads of AU and the ECOWAS elections observer missions said Liberia is taking ownership of its affairs without much international influence. Addressing journalists and other partners, the head of the ECOWAS observer mission team, former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, said the AUEO is pleased that all Liberian stakeholders in the elections have worked hard to thus far maintain a calm and peaceful environment. The Mission notes, however, that some stakeholders were not satisfied with the explanation given by the NEC regarding the printing of extra 30 percent ballot papers, which is more than the internationally recognized practice that range from 5 to 10 percent reserve qualities, reads the Daily Observer.

Ellen Urges Liberians To Respect Election results

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has called on Liberians to respect the outcome of the elections when declared by the National Elections Commission (NEC) . “We all must respect the outcome because NEC has established a system that is accountable, transparent and based upon the highest standards available,” the Liberian leader emphasized. Some 2.1 million registered voters went to the polls on October 10 to elect a president from among 20 candidates who will replace Pres. Sirleaf as head of state as she ends two six-year terms January 18. Liberians also voted for members of the 73 – seat House of Representatives from among nearly 1,000 candidates. The elections are seen as crucial as they will mark the first transition of power from a democratically-elected president to another in almost 73 years in this tiny West African nation of 4.1 million people, reports the Heritage newspaper.

Respect Liberians’ Choice…Catholic Bishops Urge

The Catholic Bishops of Liberia are calling on all political parties and contestants to respect the choice of the Liberian people as results are being released by remaining committed to the Farmington Declaration. The INQUIRER quoting a press statement from the Catholic Bishops Conference of Liberia (CABICOL) says the Bishops also called on the media to abstain from sensationalism and divisive politics as well as urging the youths to refrain from violence in all its forms. The daily said the CABICOL’s statement was signed by its President, Rev. Anthony Borwah of Gbarnga Archdiocese; Rev. Andrew Karnley of Cape Palmas and the Archbishop of Monrovia, Rev. Lew Lewis Zeigler.

Top UN Official On Liberia’s Justice System

The Deputy Chief of Human Rights and Justice of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) says the fast tracking of cases involving pre-trial detainees remains a major challenges to the justice system of Liberia. Madam Boma Jack said it is unacceptable for cases involving pre-trail detainees to be delayed in the country. She asserted that this violates the rights of citizens to have access to justice in a timely manner because the laws of Liberia call for the final adjudication of a case within a 30-day period, according to the Heritage newspaper.

European Union Commits £550 Million To Protect Oceans

According to the New Dawn newspaper, the European Union has hosted the fourth edition of the “Our Ocean Conference” Aimed To inspire joint solutions and gather ambitious commitments to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, the new European Union Ambassador to Liberia, Héléne Cavé says that global action on oceans is important for a country like Liberia, which has 597 km of coastline, and where livelihoods of people living in the coastal areas depends on the marine resources and coastal protection. During the conference, the European Commission announced over £550 million of EU-funded initiatives to tackle global oceans challenges.

International Day Of The Girl Child: Public Health Initiative Liberia Joins pan African Campaign To Demand Accountability For Immunization

As the world celebrates the International Day of the Girl Child; Public Health Initiative Liberia has joined 12 Civil Society Organizations in Africa to launch the 33 Days to Power Up Immunization Campaign on the Continent. CSOs from Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, Senegal, Kenya, Cameroun, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Liberia will work together in implementing the initiative aimed at holding African governments accountable for the multiple promises they have made to support immunization. The INQUIRER newspaper says the Public Health Initiative  of Liberia want the Liberia Minister of Health to ensure that girls in hard to reach areas are not left behind and that all girls have access to important vaccines such as the Tetanus, Rubella and the HPV. Speaking in Monrovia, PHL Executive Director, Madam Joyce Kilikpos Jarwolo said “In Liberia, we have reached 80-85% immunization coverage. We recognize the efforts that have gone into reaching these levels. However, much more needs to be done if we are to reach the 2020 goals that our governments have set in the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), Civil Society must keep track of government progress towards commitments and ensure that they deliver if we want to reach the 2020 targets as set in the GVAP”.

Related Caption: To Demand Accountability For Immunization: Public Health Initiative Liberia Joins Pan African Campaign (Heritage)


GLS-NAS JV Kicks Off Air Cargo Operations At RIA

Global Logistics Services (GLS) has announced that its Joint Venture Operating Company, GLS-NAS JV officially commenced cargo handling operations at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Monrovia on October 1. GLS-NAS is the joint venture company set up by Global Logistics Services Inc. (GLS), in partnership with National Aviation Services (NAS) Kuwait, which was formally launched recently in July of this year. The joint venture was established with its primary aim to deliver world class aviation services, including the operations of the 25-year air cargo operations concession awarded GLS by the Government of Liberia, according to a press release. GLS-NAS JV kicked off operations after a three-month transition period that involved specialized training of all RIA cargo staff conducted by International Trainers from Kuwait and Côte d’Ivoire with emphasis on HSSE, Cargo Management, Cargo Security, Ramp Operations, Customer-facing challenges, reports the Daily Observer.


PREVAIL I Ebola Vaccine Study Results Published Test Vaccines Produce Year-Long Immune Response In Most Study Participants

According to the Daily Observer, results from PREVAIL I—a large Ebola vaccine study that enrolled more than a thousand Liberians at Redemption Hospital in Monrovia during the first few months of 2015— have been published in the October 12th issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.  The results show that the two test vaccines, cAd3-EBOZ and rVSV-ZEBOV, pose no major safety concerns and can produce immune responses within one month after vaccination that last for at least one year. The study was the first to be conducted by the Partnership for Research on Ebola Virus in Liberia, or PREVAIL.  PREVAIL operates under the umbrella of a Joint Liberia-U.S. Clinical Research Partnership established in 2014 to assist Liberia develop vaccines and therapeutics to tackle Ebola. The daily says the PREVAIL I study will continue to follow for several years those who had enrolled into the study to determine the long term benefits of the vaccines.