EU Election Observers Mission Deploys 28 LongTerm Observers to 16 Districts

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

In a Release dated 27th May, 2023 and issued by the European Union it was stated that this week the EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) deployed 28 long-term observers (LTOs) to all 16 districts of Sierra Leone.

“The long-term observers are the backbone of this election observation mission. Their findings and observations will be vital in forming an impartial and evidence-based assessment of these elections,”  the Chief Observer, Ms Evin Incir, Member of the European Parliament is quoted to have said.

It was also pointed out that in line with the EU methodology, the EU EOM to Sierra Leone applies a long-term, country-wide election observation approach that enables the mission to offer a balanced and substantive analysis of electoral processes across the country.

Further mentioned was that in their respective areas of observation, the EU EOM LTOs will follow and analyze at the regional level the aspects of the electoral process that the core team members assess at national level. Giving an example, it stated that the LTOs will observe the election preparations, the election campaign, and the activities of electoral stakeholders.

Worthy of note is that the long-term observers have been deployed in multinational teams of two and, prior to their deployment, received comprehensive briefings on a wide range of issues, including on the election administration, the political environment and the legal framework governing these elections, as well as on the traditional and social media landscapes.

Additionally stated was that the EU EOM is deployed in a response to an invitation by the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone and started its activities on 11 May and is led by Chief Observer Ms Evin Incir, Member of the European Parliament, who officially launched the Mission on 23 May in Freetown, after holding a series of meetings with many high-level stakeholders.

The EU stated how closer to election day 40 short-term observers will join the EU EOM to observe the voting, counting and tabulation of the results.

In addition, a delegation of members of the European Parliament and some 10 locally-recruited short-term observers from the diplomatic missions of EU member states accredited to Sierra Leone will also join the EU EOM to observe the election day proceedings.

The EU said at full strength the EU EOM will comprise some 100 observers, drawn from 26 EU member states, Canada, and Norway.

It continued that the EU EOM will hold a press conference and issue a preliminary statement two days after the elections and a final report offering recommendations for future electoral processes will be presented after the completion of the entire election process.

Also added was that the EU EOM is bound by a code of conduct, which requires strict neutrality and non-interference and 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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