Few candidates nominated so far for Liberia's October elections, UN says

With less than a week to go for candidates to present themselves for Liberia's October elections, the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has expressed concern at the low number of contestants.

"As of the morning of 2 August, only 11 candidates had submitted their nominations: one for President, four for Senate, and six for House of Representatives. The nomination process opened on 21 July and closes on 6 August," UNMIL said in a report to the West African country's Humanitarian Action Committee (HAC).

All candidates for President/Vice President, Senate and House of Representatives were required to show up in person to turn over their documents to the Nomination Centre in the National Investment Centre in Liberia's capital, Monrovia, it said.

The delays in submitting nominations may stem from continued "horse trading" through informal alliances and from the new regulations on campaign finance requiring candidates to list their assets, UNMIL said.

The political campaign is scheduled to begin on 15 August and polling day is 11 October. The voter will cast three ballots of different colours, one for President and Vice President, one for members of the Senate and one for members of the House of Representatives, UNMIL said.

Counting will begin at the polling places after the voting ends on 11 October and by law the National Elections Commission (NEC) must release the results by 26 October, it said.