ECSL Issues Strict Instruction Guide For Election Observers
Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) has announced an online accreditation instructions guide for election observers.
The aim of this Guide according to ECSL is to ensure that political parties, candidates, observers and media institutions who wish to witness the conduct of electoral processes of the Commission are given a form of identity (accreditation card).
During the conduct of electoral processes, there is a need for various eye-witnesses (observers) representing credible institutions and independent groups to watch and note happenings before, during and after electoral activities and report on the process based on information they gathered.
Electoral observation has become an integral part of the democratic and electoral processes to enhance the transparent, credible and accountable conduct of elections, and to assess the level of acceptability of the election results.
ECSL says accredited observers may assess the various stages of the electoral process from the registration of voters, nomination of candidates, polling, counting of ballots and announcement of results.
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They are required to submit application through an institution or independent candidate which they should carefully read and relate to those serving as observers under their institution guidelines and code of conduct for observers, general and other provisions available at the application site.
Observers according to ECSL must ensure all selected observers under their institution are of sound mind and meet the requisite requirements of being an election observer; and ensure accurate and correct details of the institution and observers are submitted and bear responsibility of any misconduct of the observer(s)
ECSL reminded that an observer shall not be involved in the administration of any aspect of the election process, either by giving directives to, or interfering with an election official in the performance of his/her election duties
Also, an observer shall comply with lawful directives issued by or under the authority of the Commission, including an order to leave a registration centre/ polling station or any premises where an electoral activity is being conducted by the Commission, given by the registration/returning officer or presiding officer, as the case may be.
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