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Friday, June 21, 2024

STATEMENT FROM U.S. CHARGE D’AFFAIRES CATHERINE RODRIGUEZ ON SUPPORTING THE ELECTIONS COORDINATING COMMITTEE

Date:

November 10, 2023

The U.S. Embassy in Monrovia is aware of a video circulating on social media purporting to show Chairman Oscar Bloh of the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) engaged in discussions in a political party office. The ECC has publicly clarified that it is not Oscar Bloh in the video. Local Voices, a U.S. Embassy-supported factchecking organization, has also confirmed that it is not Oscar Bloh in the video .

The United States is committed to supporting and advancing democracy in Liberia and around the world. As announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on September 27, 2023 , the United States may pursue visa restrictions for those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Liberia, including through the purposeful spread of mis- or disinformation. As a result of this incident, we are actively exploring using this visa restriction authority because we view this as an example of impeding election observation efforts needed to ensure transparency.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is proud to have been supporting the ECC since 2011 to provide objective and evidence-based observation of Liberia’s electoral procedures. ECC has been a trusted partner and a leader in Liberia’s civil society community for over a decade. USAID stands by ECC and their commitment to promoting a free, fair, and peaceful electoral process.

USAID has no intention of reducing or stopping funding to the ECC based on a misleading video. The U.S. Embassy is confident in ECC’s ability to report fairly and accurately on Liberian elections, including the upcoming presidential run-off.

The U.S. Embassy encourages all Liberians to take the time to check their sources of information carefully. The future of the country is in the hands of the Liberian people. Please exercise your voice and your right to vote by going to the polls on November 14.

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Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet and a product of Smart Media Group Inc. Our website, smartnewsliberia.com, covers a broad spectrum of news content. For inquiries or information, you can reach us at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or email us at smartnewsliberia@gmail.com or info@smartnewsliberia.com.

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