EU Election Observation Mission Deploys 40 Short-Term Observers to 16 Districts

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

40 Short-Term Observers (STOs) of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) were on the 21st June, 2023 deployed to all 16 districts of Sierra Leone where it is expected that they will primarily observe opening, voting, and counting of the ballots, as well as the tabulation of the results.

This medium was reliably informed that the Short-Term Observers will work in multinational teams of two and prior to their deployment received a comprehensive briefing focusing on Election Day proceedings.

According to the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) Chief Observer, Evin Incir, who doubles as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP):

“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.”

It must be noted that the deployment of the STOs comes after 28 long-term observers who arrived in second half of May to observe the pre-election period.

It was further disclosed that a delegation of members of the European Parliament, headed by 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. At full strength the EU EOM will comprise more than 100 observers, drawn from 26 EU member states, Canada, and Norway.

The Chief Observer, Evin Incir additionally informed that:

Election observation is not a one-day event. To make an informed assessment of the 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.”

On Monday 26 June, the EU EOM will hold a press conference to present its preliminary statement of findings and conclusions and a final report offering recommendations for future electoral processes will be presented after the completion of the entire election process.

The EU EOM is bound by a code of conduct, which requires strict neutrality and non-interference. It undertakes its work in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, endorsed under UN auspices in 2005.


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