Members of the ECOWAS 150-strong Election Observation Mission have started
arriving in Sierra Leone ahead of the country’s general elections on Saturday
17th November 2012.
The Mission led by former Ghanaian President John Agyekum Kufuor, includes the
Vice-President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Toga McIntosh, ECOWAS
Ambassadors, members of the ECOWAS Parliament and Court of Justice, and
electoral experts from Member States, notably from national electoral
commissions and relevant ministries.
Also included are experts from civil society organizations and the media, as
well as a technical team from the headquarters of the ECOWAS Commission.
On the eve of the mission’s deployment across the country, the President of
the Commission, His Excellency Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, commended the peaceful
nature and transparency of the last elections held in September 2007 in Sierra
Leone, underpinning the consolidation of democratic culture and national
He called on political leaders, their members and supporters, to build on the
gains made at the end of the country’s protracted civil war by eschewing
actions or statements that could disrupt national serenity.
The President also urged the National Electoral Commission to demonstrate
objectivity and professionalism in carrying out its assignment to ensure that
the elections are held in free, fair, peaceful, transparent and credible
atmosphere. The ECOWAS observer mission will remain in the country until the
provisional results are declared.
Some 2.6 million registered voters are to vote in the general elections, which
are expected to consolidate democracy in Sierra Leone, ten years after the
civil war that claimed some 120,000 lives between 1991 and 2002.