By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
The Sierra Leone Action Network on Small Arms (SLANSA) has celebrated the 2023 Global Week of Action against the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and also revealed finding on the June 24th Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council elections, which conduct the organization observed.
SLANSA was able to deploy ten observers in different polling stations within the assured centers around the country in Kono, Kailahun, Makeni, Kambia, Pujehun, and Western Area Urban.
According to the organization, some level of violence between party agents and staff of the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) were noted in some the polling stations they were deployed.
They observed that voter turnout during polling day was very encouraging, and that women and the physically challenged came out in very huge numbers with preference given to pregnant women, lactating mothers and the aged to vote.
The organization stated that majority of the polling centers visited by their observers didn’t open on time with few majority of the centers calm and peaceful.
The SLANSA recommend that the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone should ensure training of polling agent staff months before the elections, to ensure effectiveness & efficiency, and that structure for polling stations should be inspected for safety and security purpose especially for ECSL staff.
They called on ECSL to ensure that the master register should be produced to have surnames of all registered voters in all polling stations to avoid movement of voters from place to place searching for their surnames.