As the ballot count continues to determine the result of Sierra Leonne’s general election, the Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) today held a press conference in the capital Freetown and released an interim statement.
It’s chairman, John Mahama, former President of Ghana, said: “It is the Commonwealth’s hope and expectation that the spirit of orderliness and peace, which has characterised the voting process, will prevail as we enter the results phase.”
He commends the people of Sierra Leone for the peaceful and orderly manner in that they went about voting and said: “Our overall conclusion is that the voting, closing and counting process at the polling stations was credible and transparent. These elections were inclusive, we witnessed the participation of the elderly and disabled voters, and were encouraged by the presence of women and youth as voters and officials.”
The observer group has been in the West Africa country since February 28. Teams were deployed across the five provinces of the country, observing election preparations, the voting, counting and results process.
This is Sierra Leone’s fourth general election since its 11-year civil war ended in 2002. More than 3.1 million Sierra Leoneans are registered to vote and 16 political parties are contesting the elections.