We actually did know there was an election, and we did make an attempt to leave before the borders closed. More on that shortly. First, regarding the elections. We saw tons of political activity throughout Monrovia in the days prior to the elections. Unlike in Gabon (where we got stuck last time), there was significant involvement from all parties.
More importantly, all the hotels are full of election observers from the African Union, the Ecowas Election Observation Mission, the European Union, and more. We have a strong sense that they are not holding back on trying to make this a fair election. Furthermore, the city is buzzing with election activities. As reported afterwards, 78.86% of around 2.4 million registered voters participated.
In the end, and announced a week later, Liberia’s electoral commission scheduled a presidential election run-off for November 14, after results showed that the two frontrunners, who had failed to secure majority votes, tied instead with percentages of 43.83% for the incumbent and 43.44% for the opposition.
In the end, in spite of getting trapped for four days in Gabon following elections there, we decided to risk staying through the elections here in Liberia based on a number of factors. Firstly, we have a great garage that can work on our car, and it’s able to get parts. This is likely the last high-quality garage before Dakar, Sénégal, more than 2,000 km away, or Northern Morocco, more than 4,000 km away. We would even be tempted to stay for 2-3 days and get everything on our list addressed except the garage suggested we leave out safety concerns based on previous elections. Staying a day or two, however, was probably fine since election results aren’t expected for a few days. Also, by staying, we will hopefully have time to check in with Global Fingerprints, whom we were unable to visit in Gemena, DRC, as we ran out of time. In summary, we are staying through the elections.