Sierra Leone election: African observer missions pledge impartiality

Ghanaian former president, John Mahama (L) meets former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan (R), 2 others in Sierra Leone as they observe the country's 2018 parliamentary and presidential elections.

African Heads of four International Election Observation Missions on Monday  pledged to remain impartial and ensure that the process complied with the relevant regional protocols and international best practices.

According to a statement issued by Mr Paul Ejime, Spokesman of  the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC), on behalf of others, they agreed to continue constructive engagements with the country’s stakeholders and to hold further consultations among themselves before and after the elections.

Sierra Leoneans would vote in country’s presidential, parliamentary and local Council elections scheduled for Wednesday.

The missions met under the coordination of ECOWAS and the African Union to strategise on effective value addition to the electoral process ahead of the countries elections.

The meeting was attended by Prof Amos Sawyer, Liberia’s former Interim President, for ECOWAS; and Kgalema Motlanthe, the former South African President for AU.

The two other leaders were Ghana’s former President John Mahama, for the Commonwealth; and Nigeria’s former President Goodluck Jonathan, for the Election Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA).

After an exchange of information on the work of their observers on ground, the Heads of Missions discussed the level of preparations for the poll.

 “They noted that while international observers could render support, the success of the electoral process is the primary responsibility of Sierra Leoneans,” the missions said.

According to the missions,  the new ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Gen. Francis Behazin had joined the Prof. Sawyer-led ECOWAS Observation Mission as leader of the Commission’s Technical Support Team to the Mission.