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IRI to Lead Pre-Election Observation Mission in Liberia

May 13, 2005

Monrovia, Liberia – IRI today announced its international pre-election observation delegation.  The delegation, led by Ambassador Robert Gribbin, will arrive in Liberia over the weekend to begin a six-day mission to assess the progress of voter registration and the overall environment for Liberia's upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, scheduled for October 11, 2005.

The delegation will spend a few days in the capital, Monrovia, meeting with officials from the National Transitional Government of Liberia, National Transitional Legislative Assembly, National Elections Commission and United Nations Mission in Liberia.  They will then travel to other cities and villages in Liberia to assess the voter registration process, political climate, and civil society activity related to the elections. At the end of the mission the delegates will meet with members of the media to discuss findings and make recommendations. Members of the delegation are: 

  • Ambassador Robert Gribbin, former U.S. ambassador to Rwanda and The Central African Republic, will serve as delegation leader. Gribbin most recently served as senior advisor to the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
  • Mr. Geoffrey S. Connor, an attorney in private practice and former secretary of state for the State of Texas, is an expert at conducting and monitoring elections.
  • Dr. Kwesi Jonah, acting head of the Governance Center for Institute of Economic Affairs in Ghana, is a regional elections expert.
  • Ms. Amelia May, program officer for IRI's Africa division in Washington, D.C.
  • Dr. Keith Jennings, president and CEO of the African-American Human Rights Foundation will represent the National Democratic Institute.
  • Ms. Ashley Barr, senior program officer for The Carter Center.
This pre-election assessment mission is the first of three missions focusing on Liberia's October national elections.  The National Democratic Institute will lead a delegation in early fall to assess the campaign period.  A third mission will monitor voting and vote counting on Election Day.