PRESS RELEASE

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE

Year 2012 Selected
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N°: 315/2012
15 November 2012 [Abuja - Nigeria]

ECOWAS DEPLOYS ELECTION OBSERVATION MISSION IN SIERRA LEONE

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 reconciliation. 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.


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