Sierra Leone Diaspora Investment Conference

ECOWAS appoints Dr. Chambas to lead election observers mission in Sierra Leone


Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, a former ECOWAS Commission President and ex-Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office in West Africa and the Sahel has been appointed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to lead its Elections Observer’s Mission in Sierra Leone. 

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, H.E. Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, gave his approval for the deployment of 95 Election Observers (Long and Short-Term  – LTOs/STOs) to monitor the upcoming Presidential and Parliamentary elections in Sierra Leone, scheduled for the 24th of June.

Amb. Ansumana Ceesay, former ECOWAS Representative in Liberia and Guinea-Bissau is the deputy head of the Mission. The activities of the EOM will be assisted by a Technical Team to be led by Amb. Abdel-Fatau Musah, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security.

The deployment of the Election Observation Mission is a follow-up to the joint ECOWAS and African Union pre-election fact-finding Mission to Sierra Leone from 12th to 14th April 2023.

ECOWAS said fifteen Long-Term Observers (LTOs) have been deployed to Sierra Leone from June 15, 2023. The team comprises experts in election administration, gender, conflict management, security, legal and constitutional issues, and the media.

“From 20th June, the LTOs will be joined by 80 STOs drawn from the ECOWAS Permanent Representatives’ Committee, Member States’ Foreign Affairs Ministries and Electoral Management Bodies, the ECOWAS Council of the Wise, Community institutions (Parliament and Court of Justice), Civil Society Organizations, the Media, and election observers,” said the commission in a release.

ECOWAS says this decision aligns with the provisions outlined in Articles 12 to 14 of the 2001 regional Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, which makes for the assistance provided to Member States in conducting elections.

As part of the organisation of these presidential and parliamentary elections, ECOWAS said it has also provided the country with USD 500,000 in financial support.

Their mission joins a couple of other observers including the European Union, Carter Centre, and the West African Elders Forum.

The Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) registered 3,374,258 voters for the 2023 elections out of an estimated population of 8.7 million. Voting will take place in 11,832 polling stations within 3,630 polling centres across the 16 electoral districts nationwide from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Incumbent president, Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone’s People’s Party (SLPP) is seeking a second term among 13 candidates from 17 registered political parties. Four political parties were barred from contesting the elections on account of failing to reach the minimum threshold required of them, according to the Political Parties Registration Commission. About 135 Parliamentary and 493 Local Council seats will be up for grabs on polling 24th.

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