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

    Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora