News / Africa

Carter Center Observers to Monitor Sierra Leone Election

Supporters of the ruling All People's Congress party's President Ernest Bai Koroma attend a rally outside State House in the center of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown, October 11, 2012.
Supporters of the ruling All People's Congress party's President Ernest Bai Koroma attend a rally outside State House in the center of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown, October 11, 2012.
Peter Clottey
The vice president for peace programs at the U.S.-based Carter Center, John Stremlau, said former Zambian President Rupiah Banda will lead the organization’s poll observer mission to monitor Sierra Leone’s November 17 general election.

“I welcome this opportunity to lead the Carter Center’s election observation mission, and it is my hope that these elections are credible, peaceful, and reflect the will of the Sierra Leonean people,” Banda said.

Stremlau said the former Zambian leader is scheduled to arrive in Sierra Leone the first week of November to monitor the poll.

Stremlau said the Carter Center has deployed eight long-term observers monitoring political activities in the West African country in the run-up to the election.

“They are getting settled in now around the country and, as of the middle of November, we will have a larger team of about 40 short-term observers who would be through the election period,” said Stremlau.

Stremlau said the election observers will witness the activities of the election administration, campaigning, and voter education, ahead of the vote.

Sierra Leone’s National Electoral Commission officially invited the Carter Center poll team to monitor the vote.  Stremlau said his team will meet with officials of the electoral body to discuss preparations.

“They have enthusiastically welcomed the Carter Center to send its group of impartial observers that would probably come from some 15 or 20 countries, including mostly from African countries, to be deployed,” said Stremlau.

“We would meet with them and understand their concerns and evaluate their preparations for the election because one of the important elements of final reports that we render is whether or not the voters were adequately registered, whether they had the kind of support services going in,” he added.

Some Sierra Leoneans say international observers often visit only urban areas, but not the rural areas, where they said voter irregularities often occur. 

Stremlau said their concerns are justified, but adds that the Carter Center’s poll observer mission monitors elections in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and Code of Conduct backed by the United Nations and 40 election observation groups in 2005.

“One of the important criteria is you have national coverage.  You have to be determined to [make the] effort to be widely dispersed in ways that make a credible balance between urban and rural areas,” said Stremlau.

“The concern that we should have is that all voters, no matter where they are elected, have a fair shot of having their voice properly registered and recorded.  We are very confident that we have developed that capacity.”

Stremlau also said his poll team will assess the electoral process based on Sierra Leone’s national legal framework and its obligations for democratic elections contained in regional and international agreements.
Clottey interview with John Stremlau, VP at the Carter Center
Clottey interview with John Stremlau, VP at the Carter Centeri
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid