Osinbajo will lead group of observers from the Commonwealth


Outgoing Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has been appointed to lead the Commonwealth Election Observer Group for Sierra Leone’s general election.

General elections in Sierra Leone are scheduled for June 24.

Mr. Osinbajo was appointed by the Commonwealth Secretary General, Patricia Scotland, who expressed her thanks to the outgoing Vice President.

Ms. Scotia expressed confidence that Mr. Osinbajo will lead the team well based on his understanding of the challenges in West Africa.

“I thank His Excellency Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for accepting my invitation to undertake this important area of ​​our work to deepen democracy in our Commonwealth, despite his busy schedule and overseeing a smooth transition of his government,” he said.

Mr. Osinbajo will lead an expert team of politicians, legal, media, gender and election administration professionals from across the Commonwealth to carry out the task.

“I am very honored by the unique opportunity to continue to contribute my knowledge and experience to help deepen democracy, especially in Africa and the Commonwealth by extension,” said Mr. Osinbajo.

Commonwealth Observer Group mandate

Upon arrival in Sierra Leone, the mandate of the Commonwealth Observer Group will be to observe the electoral process and provide an independent assessment of whether the election was credibly conducted. The group will then report on the conduct of the elections in accordance with the standards to which Sierra Leone has committed, including its own laws.

In accordance with the Commonwealth methodology, the group will consider, among other things, whether conditions exist for credible and inclusive elections, including a fair electoral environment; whether the public media have been impartial; the transparency of the entire process; and whether voters are free to express their will.

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Upon completion of its task, the group will submit its recommendations in a report to the Commonwealth Secretary General, who will then share it with the Government of Sierra Leone, the Electoral Commission, political parties and all Commonwealth governments.

Elections in Sierra Leone

Elections on June 24 will see Sierra Leone either elect a new president or re-elect its incumbent, Julius Bio, who is one of the two main contenders for the West African country’s top position.

The other contender is Samura Kamara, who came in second in the 2018 presidential election. He came in second behind Mr. Bio in that election.

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Both candidates have been approved by the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL).

While Mr. Bio belongs to the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Mr. Kamara is from the Congress of all peoples (APC).

Mr. Bio will be running after a first term marred by economic hardship and rampant inflation in a country still reeling from the 2014 Ebola outbreak before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Kamara served as central bank governor, finance minister, and foreign minister from 2008 to 2018.

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