EU Observer Mission deploys over 40 observers nationwide

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The European Union Election Observation Mission has deployed over 40 short-term observers (STOs) to all 16 districts of Sierra Leone Including Freetown, where they will primarily observe the opening, voting, and counting of the ballots, as well as the tabulation of the results.

The short-term observers, according to a release from the mission, will work in multinational teams of two and, prior to their deployment, they received a comprehensive briefing focusing on Election Day proceedings.

“By deploying more than 100 observers the European Union clearly shows its commitment to support the democratic processes in Sierra Leone, strengthening respect for human rights and the rule of law. We as a mission stand ready to observe shoulder to shoulder with Sierra Leonean people till the completion of the electoral process,” said the Chief Observer Evin Incir, Member of the European Parliament (MEP).

She added that as a mission they stand ready to observe shoulder to shoulder with Sierra Leonean people till the completion of the electoral process.

She went on to state that election observation is not a one-day event and that to make an informed assessment of 2023 general elections, the EU EOM started its work already in mid-May and has deployed 28 long-term observers across the country to follow various aspects of electoral process, such as election preparations, campaign activities, work of media, participation of women, as well as various voter information efforts

“At full strength, the EU EOM will comprise more than 100 observers, drawn from 26 EU member states, Canada, and Norway,” the Chief Observer stated.

She concluded that the EU EOM follows a strict neutrality and non-interference policy which it undertakes, and works in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, endorsed under UN auspices in 2005.

The EU EOM is bound by a code of conduct, which the short-term observers will work in multinational teams of two and, prior to their deployment, they received a comprehensive briefing focusing on Election Day proceedings

 The deployment of the STOs comes after 28 long-term observers who arrived in second half of May to observe the pre-election period. A delegation of members of the European Parliament, headed by Mr. Georgios Krystos (MEP), will also be integrated into the mission as will a team of 14 locally recruited short-term observers from the diplomatic missions of EU member states accredited to Sierra Leone. On Monday 26 June, the EU EOM will hold a press conference to present its preliminary statement of findings and conclusions. A final report offering recommendations for future electoral processes will be presented after the completion of the entire election process.

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