European observers are praising Sierra Leone’s elections as peaceful and well-organized, though they expressed concern about post-election unrest. The country’s National Electoral Commission is still tallying up the results from Saturday’s presidential, parliamentary and local elections. The chief of the European Union election observer mission, Richard Howitt, said the voting Saturday had gone smoothly. “We describe this election as being a well-conducted election, it is conducive to democratic consolidation, that has occurred on an unlevel playing field but in a largely peaceful atmosphere,” he said. Howitt said he hopes there will be peaceful acceptance of the results.
Editorials: Sierra Leone: elections are a chance to ride the wave of economic development and democracy | IndepthAfrica
On 17 November Sierra Leoneans will go to the polls in presidential, parliamentary and local elections. Over a decade ago, after years of turmoil and unrest, Sierra Leoneans were encouraged to embrace democracy as the means of restoring peace and reviving this once flourishing West African country. Great sacrifices were made for the cause of democracy – just by voting people ran the risk of having their hands and legs chopped off. It took the largest UN peace operation and the deployment of British troops to finally bring an end to the 11 year rebel war and usher in Sierra Leone’s democracy.
Sierra Leoneans are going to the polls on Saturday to elect their leaders. Although 10 parties are slugging it out, the contest is between two prominent parties. Like most political contests in Africa, the election is already assuming frightening dimensions with attacks of political opponents, mudslinging, and breeding of fear, as reported by veteran journalist, Lindsay Barret. Reports coming out of Sierra Leone indicate that objective observers of that West African nation’s affairs are increasingly anxious over the course of what may eventually be regarded as the most important and closely fought of four elections held since its civil war ended a little over a decade ago.