A Game of Coalitions, Counties and Contests: A Background to the 2023 Liberian General Elections

In the third and final general elections in West Africa this year, Liberians will go to the polls on 10 October 2023 to elect a president, 73 members of the House of Representatives and half of the thirty members of the Liberian Senate. These elections will be similarly scrutinised in the wake of preceding elections in Nigeria, with a recent tribunal ruling on 6 September, and Sierra Leone, where civil society and foreign observers were particularly scathing of the performance of the election management architecture.

Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC) will oversee a process for 2,471,617 registered voters, who will select from 1,026 candidates for 89 offices. But this statistic does not imply an ‘easier’ election to administer, compared to the 3.4 million in Sierra Leone or the 93 million in Nigeria. Like other countries, Liberia is besotted with its own unique challenges and issues. This brief provides an overview of the key themes that will shape the elections and what could be important in reviewing and focusing on in the run-up to, and in the immediate aftermath of the elections.

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