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  •  Ex President Jonathan leads election observation mission to Kenyan elections
    Ex-President Jonathan leads election observation mission to Kenyan elections
     Ex President Jonathan leads election observation mission to Kenyan elections
    Ex-President Jonathan leads election observation mission to Kenyan elections
    General news2 weeks ago

    Ex-President Jonathan leads election observation mission to Kenyan elections

    Former President Goodluck Jonathan departed Abuja for Nairobi on Friday leading a team of observers to Kenya’s general elections scheduled to hold on Aug. 9. Jonathan would serve as the Head of the Electoral Observation Mission of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA).

    EISA has deployed a full-fledged short-term team of observers to Kenya.

    Mr Ikechukwu Eze, Special Adviser, Media, to Jonathan, stated on Friday in Abuja that the EISA team comprises 21 short-term observers drawn from Civil Society Organisations.

    It also comprises Election Management Bodies and representatives of the academia from across the African continent.

    “The observers will be deployed in all the regions and specifically in ten counties, across Kenya.

    “They will observe the final stages of the political parties’ campaigns, Election Day procedures and results aggregation processes.

    “The Mission’s assessment of the electoral process will be guided by the principles and obligations set out in the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

    “It will also be guided by the 2002 Declaration of the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa, among others,’’ he stated.

    Eze added that the EISA Electoral Observation Mission would issue a preliminary statement on its findings at a news conference on Aug. 11.
    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Prof Sawyer urges Sierra Leoneans to complete presidential run off poll peacefully
    Prof. Sawyer urges Sierra Leoneans to complete presidential run-off poll peacefully
     Prof Sawyer urges Sierra Leoneans to complete presidential run off poll peacefully
    Prof. Sawyer urges Sierra Leoneans to complete presidential run-off poll peacefully
    Foreign4 years ago

    Prof. Sawyer urges Sierra Leoneans to complete presidential run-off poll peacefully

    Prof. Amos Sawyer, Head of ECOWAS Observation Mission, has appealed to Sierra Leoneans to persevere and ensure successful completion of the crucial electoral process as they go to run-off presidential polls on March 31.

    Sawyer was quoted making the appeal in a statement issued by Mr Paul Ejime, a member of the ECOWAS Observer Mission and Spokesman of ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) on Wednesday in Freetown.

    Sawyer, the former Interim President of Liberia, told journalists that peaceful completion of the election would be for the good of the country and ECOWAS region.

    “At the end of the day, it is one Sierra Leone, the consolidation of peace and democracy in the country and the ECOWAS region.”

    He enjoined political actors to resolve their differences using diplomatic and legal channels, noting that Sierra Leone and his country had passed through a recent difficult period.

    “There is the need to encourage and support Sierra Leoneans to get it right with the ongoing electoral process.”

    The first round of general elections on March 7 ended inconclusively with the two frontrunners from the ruling All People Congress (APC) and the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) going for the run off.

    This followed a legal dispute taken to the High Court, which on Monday vacated its interim injunction suspending the run-off election earlier scheduled for 27 March.

    And the political mediation undertaken by heads of international election observation groups – Prof. Sawyer (ECOWAS); Kgalema Motlanthe (AU), John Mahama (Commonwealth) and Goodluck Jonathan (Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA).

    He commended the exemplary leadership demonstrated by the four African Statesmen, in swapping roles as election observers and political mediators.

    Sawyer said that their actions were commendable as they were working to ensure that all political actors and stakeholders in Sierra Leone were on the same page.

    “This is consistent with the ECOWAS protocol on democracy and good governance, the fact that election is not a single event, and also that regime change is only through the ballot box and the will of the people.”

    He noted that the Heads of Missions held wide consultations with stakeholders including leaders of the two political parties, the National Electoral Commission (NEC), civil society and out-going President Ernest Bai Koroma.

    Meanwhile, at the instance of NEC, the Supreme Court on Wednesday validated the March 31 date for the run-off vote.

    According to judicial sources, this decision forestalls any possible legal action over the legitimacy of the poll.

    This is in view of the constitutional provision, which stipulates that a run-off must take place within two weeks after declaration of the results of the first round of voting.

    Edited by: Gregory Mmaduakolam/Felix Ajide
    (NAN)

  •  Sierra Leone s presidential runoff Int l observers devt partners synergise
    Sierra Leone’s presidential runoff: Int’l observers, devt. partners synergise
     Sierra Leone s presidential runoff Int l observers devt partners synergise
    Sierra Leone’s presidential runoff: Int’l observers, devt. partners synergise
    Foreign4 years ago

    Sierra Leone’s presidential runoff: Int’l observers, devt. partners synergise

    Sierra Leone’s presidential runoff: Int’l observers, partners synergise

    Support

    Abuja, March 27, Heads of International Election Observation Missions on Tuesday met with representatives of development partners in Freetown to synergise support for successful and credible presidential run-off vote in Sierra Leone.

    The meeting, according to a statement issued by spokesman of ECOWAS Observers Mission, Mr Paul Ejime, stressed the need for all stakeholders to play by the rule in March 31 elections.

    It also stressed the need for observers to exercise vigilance on all stages of the electoral process until the declaration of the poll results.

    It listed attendance to include ECOWAS, African Union, Commonwealth, European Union, the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), United Nations, and Mano River Union.

    Others according to the statement also include representatives of diplomatic missions; UK, USA, Ghana, Germany and Ireland.

    The meeting according to the statement followed a crucial meeting facilitated by the Heads of Missions on Monday where the two parties due to participate in the reun-off, agreed to a new date for the election.

    A High Court in Freetown had earlier vacated its earlier order restraining the National Electoral Commission from holding the run-off election on March 27.

  •  Institute calls for review of threshold in determining winner of Sierra Leone presidential election
    Institute calls for review of threshold in determining winner of Sierra Leone presidential election
     Institute calls for review of threshold in determining winner of Sierra Leone presidential election
    Institute calls for review of threshold in determining winner of Sierra Leone presidential election
    Foreign4 years ago

    Institute calls for review of threshold in determining winner of Sierra Leone presidential election

    The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) Election Observation Mission (EOM) in Sierra Leone has called for a review of the threshold determining the winner of presidential election in the country.

    Head of the Mission, Dr Goodluck Jonathan announced the recommendation while presenting the Mission’s preliminary findings and observations on the election at a news  conference on Friday in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

    Jonathan, who is also the former President of Nigeria, said in the long run, there was need to consider adoption of a lower threshold for determining the winner of presidential election.

    He said that the electoral system for presidential elections, which provides  a 55 per cent threshold, did not adequately address the issue of ethnic politics.

    “To also address the issue of ethnic politics, further criteria to ensure national spread of votes regionally for the winner of presidential election should be considered.’’

    Jonathan also called for a  revisit to  the report of the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) on referendum in order  to adopt constitutional amendments proposed by the Committee on the threshold.

    He advised that there was need to begin the process of constitution review early in the life of the incoming parliament.

    He also expressed concern with  nomination process for candidates and the high cost of nomination fee for presidential candidates.

    “The bill tabled before parliament proposing a reduction of the stipulated candidate nomination fees was not passed and the president subsidised the fees on behalf of candidates.

    “The EISA EOM considered the failure to pass the proposed regulations on nomination fees as a stumbling block to inclusive participation in the electoral process.

    “The current high nomination fees, if maintained, could discourage qualified candidates from vulnerable groups such as women, youth and People With Disabilities (PWDs) from exercising their right to participate in the elections as candidates.

    “In addition, the continuous subsidy by the government, which is not anchored in the legal framework, could be misconstrued as an incentive to entice voters or rival candidates.’’

    He said  considering the importance of the result tally process and the tensions that attend this process, EISA urged NEC to manage the process in a transparent and professional manner.

    “Specifically, he said, the commission should pay attention to information management to avoid suspicions and misinformation.

    He advised the National Electoral Commission ( NEC) to  consider simplifying the ballot reconciliation and counting procedures to make it less tedious and easier for polling personnel, observers and monitors.

    Jonathan said that the mission was  of the view that the process up until the end of the first day of tallying has so far been conducted substantially in line with sub-regional, continental and international standards

    “There is, however, room for improvement especially in the legal framework to further level the playing field.’’

    Jonathan said that on the overall, the stipulated procedures for opening, voting, closing and counting were largely complied with and that NEC staff demonstrated competence in the execution of their duties.

    “The secrecy of the ballot was guaranteed in most of the stations visited and election materials were available throughout the day.

    He urged the people to remain calm while they wait to see the process through.

    ““We call on political leaders to show true leadership by respecting the rule of law throughout the results tally process.’’

  •  Ex President Jonathan urges Sierra Leone NEC to follow guidelines in collating results
    Ex-President Jonathan urges Sierra Leone NEC to follow guidelines in collating results
     Ex President Jonathan urges Sierra Leone NEC to follow guidelines in collating results
    Ex-President Jonathan urges Sierra Leone NEC to follow guidelines in collating results
    Foreign4 years ago

    Ex-President Jonathan urges Sierra Leone NEC to follow guidelines in collating results

    The Election Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) Mission to Sierra Leone, has advised the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to stick to election guidelines in the collation of votes.

    Head of the mission and former President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen while monitoring the voting process on Wednesday in Freetown.

    Jonathan said it was important for NEC to ensure that the collation of the results followed due process and laid down rules and regulations.

    He said recording peaceful voting was just one aspect of election, the process of collating the result was also critical.

    “If you look at the problem that we have in Kenya, it is not the voting per say, it was the transmission of results that people challenged in the court and the election was nullified in Supreme Court.’’

    He said once the guidelines were followed, the process and the results would be accepted by all.

    Jonathan also called on the contestants of the general elections and their supporters to respect the results, when announced.

    He expressed satisfaction with the turnout of voters and advised them to accept the results when declared.

    “We plead that if there is no major incident, at the end of the day people should be able to accept the result of the elections.

    “Where you feel aggrieved in one way or the other, people should follow the elections guidelines.’’

    Commending the voting process, Jonathan said he monitored it, interacted with other observer missions, both foreign and local, adding that “the information so far is identical.’’

    “People are impressed with the turnout and the commitment of the ordinary people to vote.

    “Some of the voters came out as early as 12 midnight to vote, queue, wait patiently for the poll to start in the morning by 7 a.m.’’

    Jonathan said though there were about 15 to 30 minutes delay in some polling units, most polling stations commenced early.

    “I have also monitored elections in other countries and I am beginning to see that the standard is high here (in Sierra Leone) and we have to commend the people of Sierra Leone.’’

    Edited by: Idris Abdulrahman
    (NAN)

  •  3 17m Sierra Leonians vote today observers appeal for peace
    3.17m Sierra Leonians vote today, observers appeal for peace
     3 17m Sierra Leonians vote today observers appeal for peace
    3.17m Sierra Leonians vote today, observers appeal for peace
    Foreign4 years ago

    3.17m Sierra Leonians vote today, observers appeal for peace

    Voters in Sierra Leone are trooping out today for presidential, parliamentary and local council polls.

    Sierra Leone’s 3.17 million registered voters out of an estimated population of seven million are expected to cast their ballots in 11,122 polling states across the country.

    On the eve of the election, the heads of six International Election Observation Missions (IEOMs) called on all stakeholders in the country to ensure peaceful and credible elections.

    The observers  made the appeal, according a statement issued by Mr Paul Ejime, the spokesman  of ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commission (ECONEC) including ECOWAS, African Union (AU), and the Commonwealth.

    Other missions are the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), European Union (EU), and The Carter Center (TCC).

    The missions urged the political leaders, parties and their supporters to respect the rule of law during balloting and through the results tallying process.
They further urged them to uphold their commitments under the ‘Freetown Declaration’, which was signed by presidential candidates on 28 February.

    “The IEOMs encouraged the candidates to accept the outcome of the elections in line with Article 9 of the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance (2001) .

    “In the event of complaints or disputes, we encourage candidates to seek redress through legal channels whilst at all times refraining from acts of violence and intimidation.

    ”
The missions called on the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and party polling agents “to conduct their duties in a professional manner to ensure that “the elections are transparent, credible and conducted in accordance with prescribed laws and regulations.”

    It added that the missions looked up to the government of Sierra Leone to uphold its constitutional obligations to provide a secure environment that guarantees the safety of candidates, voters, NEC officials and electoral materials.

    “We  urged the security personnel to demonstrate professionalism and enforce the law in a neutral and proportional manner.”

    The meeting was attended by Nigeria’s former President Goodluck Jonathan, Head of EISA Mission, Prof Amos Sawyer, Liberia’s former Interim President and Head of ECOWAS Mission; South African former President, Kgalema Motlanthe; and Head of the AU Mission.

    Others were Ghana’s former President, John Mahama., Head of the Commonwealth Mission; Ms. Jean Lambert, Head of EU Mission and Mr Larry Garber, for The Carter Center.
Also present was the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Gen. Francis Behanzin, who is leading the ECOWAS Commission’s Technical Support Team for the Prof. Sawyer-led 65-member ECOWAS Observation Mission.

    The IEOMs, have deployed more than 250  observers across Sierra Leone’s 16 Administrative Districts.

    Sierra Leone’s 3.17 million registered voters out of an estimated population of seven million will cast their ballots in 11,122 polling states across the country on Wednesday.

    The civil society under the umbrella of the National Election Watch (NEW) is deploying one citizen observer to each of the 11.122 polling stations in 3,300 Polling Centres nationwide.

    The civil society under the umbrella of the National Election Watch (NEW) is deploying one citizen observer to each of the 11.122 polling stations in 3,300 Polling Centres nationwide.

    OBE

  •  Sierra Leone African election observer missions pledge to remain impartial
    Sierra Leone: African election observer missions pledge to remain impartial
     Sierra Leone African election observer missions pledge to remain impartial
    Sierra Leone: African election observer missions pledge to remain impartial
    Foreign4 years ago

    Sierra Leone: African election observer missions pledge to remain impartial

    African Heads of four International Election Observation Missions on Monday  pledged to remain impartial and ensure that the process complied with the relevant regional protocols and international best practices.

    According to a statement issued by Mr Paul Ejime, Spokesman of  the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC), on behalf of others, further agreed to continue constructive engagements with the country’s stakeholders and to hold further consultations among themselves before and after the elections.’’

    Sierra Leoneans would vote in country’s presidential, parliamentary and local Council elections scheduled for Wednesday.

    The missions met under the coordination of ECOWAS and the African Union, was held to strategise on effective value addition to the electoral process ahead of the countries elections.

    The meeting was attended by Prof Amos Sawyer, Liberia’s former Interim President, for ECOWAS; and Kgalema Motlanthe, the former South African President for AU.

    The two other leaders were Ghana’s former President John Mahama, for the Commonwealth; and Nigeria’s former President Goodluck Jonathan, for the Election Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA).

    “ After an exchange of information on the work of their observers on ground, the Heads of Missions discussed the level of preparations for the poll.

    “They also discussed emerging scenanios, identifiable challenges, especially the and legal issues before the Supreme Court and the way forward.

    “They noted that while international observers could render support, the success of the electoral process is the primary responsibility of Sierra Leoneans,” the missions said.

    According to the missions,  the new ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Gen. Francis Behazin had joined the Prof. Sawyer-led ECOWAS Observation Mission as leader of the Commission’s Technical Support Team to the Mission.

    NAN reports that the Sierra Leone Telegraph, reported that both Dr Samura Kamara of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) and Dr Kandeh Yumkella of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) Presidential candidates are facing separate suits against them at the Sierra Leone Supreme Court.

    The separate petitions are to determine if they are qualify to contest the Wednesday presidential elections

    The petition against Kamara is calling on the Supreme Court to disqualify him for violation of electoral laws, which states that all public officials wishing to contest the elections must have resigned from their posts at least 90 days prior to the elections.

    He is alleged to have been receiving his government salary as foreign minister and had failed to resign his job in accordance with the law.

    It is also alleged that Samura has both Sierra Leone and British citizenships, and has failed to renounce his British citizenship before his nomination as the presidential candidate of the ruling APC.

    On the other hand, the case against Yumkella, who is also contesting Parliamentary election at the same time, was filled by APC claiming he is ineligible to contest the constituency election in his place of Birth-Kychum in the Northern district of Kambia.

    The Sierra Leone’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) has declared that Yumkella was free to contest the parliamentary election until decided otherwise by the court.

    It was reported that Yumkella’s name is on the ballot papers for both presidential and parliamentary elections.

    Both cases were adjourned till Monday, March 5.

    Edited by: Sadiya Hamza
    (NAN)