Friday, July 13, 2007

EU Launches Election Observer Mission

The European Union (EU) Wednesday launched its Election Observation Mission (EOM) for the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in Sierra Leone scheduled to take place on August 11.

The ceremony took place at the Bintumani Hotel, Aberdeen in Freetown.

The mission's mandate is to assess the elections based on international and regional standards.

Head of the Mission, Marie Anne Isler Beguin stated that there work is to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the electoral process and to offer an impartial, balanced and informed analysis of the elections adding that the observers will be deployed across the country.

"This observation work is an important component of the European Union's policy of promoting human rights and democratization throughout the world," she said, adding that they have a core team of seven experts and teams of long term and short term observers.

She noted that the 28 long term observers will shortly be deployed throughout the country to observe key aspects of the electioneering process.

"A further deployment of 42 short term observers will join the core team and the long term observers for the period immediately prior to, including polling day to observe the voting and counting process," Isler Beguin said, adding that "elections are a fundamental part of the social and political life of a democratic country.

It is important that citizens exercise their right to vote freely and candidates are able to campaign in an environment where there is a level playing field." She said.

allAfrica.com: Sierra Leone: EU Launches Election Observer Mission (Page 1 of 1)