By Buba Gagigo
The ECOWAS and AU Election Observation Missions have expressed concern over incidents of violence and intimidation in Sierra Leone ahead of the country’s general election on June 24, 2023.
“The Elections Observation Missions of the ECOWAS and the African Union are concerned about incidents of violence and intimidation in some parts of the country ahead of the 24 June 2023 General Elections, noting that such incidents have the potential to mar the peaceful conduct of the elections. In order to preserve the peace and stability of Sierra Leone before, during, and after the elections, the ECOWAS and AU Missions state as follows:
“Political parties, candidates, and their supporters should be guided by the spirit of consensus building based on the rule of law and adhere to the political parties’ code of conduct; the security forces must remain apolitical and maintain professionalism in the discharge of their duties towards all citizens cognizant of the rights of all under the constitution of Sierra Leone,” they said in a press release.
The ECOWAS and AU elections observer missions have called on the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone to remain impartial in the execution of its mandate. They have also urged citizens and civil society groups to continue their efforts to promote peaceful elections and national cohesion.
The two missions have pledged to continue to offer their good offices to all stakeholders in the elections to ensure that they are conducted in accordance with national, regional, and international standards.