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Sierra Leone electoral body praised over professional conduct of polls

Sierra Leone electoral body praised over professional conduct of polls

Sierra Leone

<p>The National Electoral Commission (<span class="caps">NEC</span>) of Sierra Leone has roundly been praised for the conduct of the country’s March 2018 elections.</p> <p>Election observer missions, journalists covering the polls, most Sierra Leoneans and members of the diplomatic corps have all lauded <span class="caps">NEC</span> for delivering a clean and credible process.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Under immense pressure, intimidation, distrust and suspicion, <a href="https://twitter.com/NECsalone?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw"><code>NECsalone</a> performed admirably and professionally. Every SierraLeone should be proud of their good work. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SierraLeone?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SierraLeone</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/votesalone?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#votesalone</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/SierraDecides?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw"></code>Sierradecides</a></p>— Abdul Tejan-Cole (@atejancole) <a href="https://twitter.com/atejancole/status/981656252198604801?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 4, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Jean Lambert, head of the European Union Election Observer Mission to Sierra Leone in presenting her team’s interim report said, “Sierra Leoneans asserted their desire to strengthen democracy … @NECsalone maintained its independence despite the pressure it faced.” </p> <p>For his part, the British High Commissioner in Sierra Leone, Guy Warrington also hailed <span class="caps">NEC</span> for doing a sterling job under difficult circumstances. Mary Hunt of the U.K. Department for International Development (<span class="caps">DFID</span>) had similar words for <span class="caps">NEC</span>. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">A night of Democracy in action. Congratulations <a href="https://twitter.com/JuliusMaadaBio?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw"><code>JuliusMaadaBio</a> on being sworn in as SierraLeone &#39;s new President. Congratulations <a href="https://twitter.com/NECsalone?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw"></code>NECsalone</a> on a peaceful election process. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SierraLeoneDecides?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SierraLeoneDecides</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SierraLeone?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SierraLeone</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UKinSierraLeone?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UKinSierraLeone</a> <a href="https://t.co/bSF4yAmiSR">pic.twitter.com/bSF4yAmiSR</a></p>— Mary Hunt (@DFIDSierraLeone) <a href="https://twitter.com/DFIDSierraLeone/status/981697606832271363?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 5, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Head of the Commonwealth Observer Mission, former Ghana president John Dramani Mahama commended the <span class="caps">NEC</span> for its professionalism, diligence and consistency in delivering another well-managed and credible process on the day of voting.</p> <p>He further lauded the electoral body for implementing new guidelines and procedures despite logistical and administrative challenges.</p> <p>“Sierra Leone has committed itself to certain democratic values and principles contained in the national, regional, Commonwealth and international obligations it has chosen to subscribe to,” Mr Mahama said.</p> <p>The electoral process which kicked off on March 7, involved elections for the presidency, the legislature and councillors. </p> <p>Except for the presidency, majority of the other elective slots were successfully sorted out by March 13. <span class="caps">NEC</span> chairman Mohamed N’fah-Alie Conteh declared the presidential polls was inconclusive, hence the need for a runoff.</p> <p>The March 27 polls was to be contested by the two top candidates from the first round. The then-opposition chief Julius Maada Bio and the ruling party’s Samura Kamara.</p> <p>As the day drew close, a court injuction was obtained to stay the process. The injuction was lifted two days later but <span class="caps">NEC</span> secured another order postponing the process from the scheduled 27th date to 31st.</p> <p>So on the last day of March, Sierra Leoneans queued to choose between the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (<span class="caps">SLPP</span>) who won the first round and the All People’s Congress. <span class="caps">SLPP</span>’s Maado Bio was on the evening of April 4 declared winner and duly sworn in as by law required.</p> <iframe src="//embed.scribblelive.com/Embed/v7.aspx?Id= 2745603&ThemeId=19714" width="100%" height="1200" frameborder="0"></iframe>
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