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News release

Popular trust in National Elections Commission remains weak, but majority of Liberians trust voter power

5 Oct 2023 Liberia
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News release
Key findings
  • Only one-third (34%) of Liberians say they trust the National Elections Commission “somewhat” or “a lot,” a decline of 10 percentage points since 2018 (Figure 1).
  • Six in 10 citizens say elections do not work well to ensure that members of the House of Representatives (61%) and senators (60%) reflect the views of voters. But a majority (55%) think that elections in general (not regarding any particular election) do enable voters to remove elected officials who don’t do what the people want (Figure 2).
  • More than three-fourths (78%) of Liberians say political parties that lose an election should cooperate with the government, while only 22% say the opposition should instead focus on holding the government accountable (Figure 3).
  • Almost three-fourths (73%) of citizens think it is unlikely that powerful people can find out how they voted (Figure 4).
  • An overwhelming majority (85%) of citizens say the 2017 elections were “completely free and fair” (59%) or “free and fair with minor problems” (26%) (Figure 5).

Only one-third of Liberians say they trust the National Elections Commission (NEC) as the  country approaches general elections in October, according to the latest  Afrobarometer survey. 

One of the NEC’s tasks is to manage the country’s transition from manual voter  registration to the use of a biometric voter registration system. 

While public trust in the NEC has declined by 10 percentage points since 2018, most Liberians think their last national election was free and fair, and most express confidence in the secrecy of their ballots and the power of their vote to affect the country’s future.