Saturday, March 17, 2007

A contingent of pre election monitors arrive in Sierra Leone

Hon.  Karan EnglishA six-man contingent of international pre-election monitors led by former member of the United States Congress, Hon.  Karan English arrived in Freetown last Monday, 12th March 2007. The purpose of their arrival according to Hon. English was to express the international community’s interest in and support for democratic governance and the conduct of free and fair multiparty elections in the country come July 28 this year, and to also provide an impartial and accurate report on the process to the people of Sierra Leone and the international community. The successful conduct of the elections, Mr. English said, is an opportunity for the people of Sierra Leone to build further confidence for sustained peace and development of their country.

Addressing the press later at the Light House Hotel, Aberdeen, a senior Adviser at the National Democratic Institute (NDI), Makram Ouaiss said organizing credible national elections is a critical benchmark for any country like Sierra Leone that is in the search for stability and the consolidation of peace and democracy. Mr. Ouaiss assured journalists that while in the country, they will be observing strictly the guidelines and Code of Conduct set up by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) as well as the set international standards as set by the Declaration of Principles for International Observers in the exercise of their monitoring role in the country.

While in the country, the team will meet with political party officials, the NEC, government officials, civic leaders, the press and representatives of the international community in the country. The are also expected to visit the provinces to get first hand observation on the ongoing voter registration process.

The contingent comprises Mr. Kwame Afari Gyan, Chairman of the Ghana Electoral Commission, Hon. Miria Matembe, former member of the Pan-African Parliament who is now member of the Uganda Constitutional Commission, Ms. Cerue Konah Garlo, Coordinator of the Women’s NGO Secretariat of Liberia and former Senior Policy Advisor to the United States Department of State (USA) Matthew Frumin.

The team is the first of two pre-election monitors to be filled in by the National Democratic Institute.

Link to 8 man contingent of pre-election Monitors visit Sierra Leone: Sierra Leone News