Liberia has cancelled nationwide Senate elections over fears that the Ebola Virus Disease could spread as people gather to vote.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia has cancelled the country’s nationwide Senate elections which were scheduled to hold on Tuesday, October 14.
The cancellation was deemed necessary due to fears that the election commission could not safely operate poll stations given the country’s ongoing Ebola crisis, International Business Times reports.
Officials reportedly said that almost three million voters were expected to participate in the proposed election but it would have endangered lives hence the exercise could not be carried out at this time.
President Sirleaf is said to have exercised her authority to declare a state of emergency as she reportedly suspended “any and all rights ordinarily exercised, enjoyed and guaranteed to citizens.”
The president said in a statement released yesterday, October 8:
“The government] has been unable to undertake several of the processes that are prerequisites to conducting the pending 2014 Senatorial Elections, including the deployment of staff in the field to conduct civil/voter education, the recruitment and deployment of the required polling staff at polling centers, [and] the importation of basic, essential and sensitive electoral materials due to the suspension of flights to Liberia,”
Almost 4000 people have died of Ebola in West Africa and over 2000 of that number are from Ebola.