One of the priority recommendations of the European Union final report of 2021 Election Follow-up Mission to Sierra Leone is the introduction of a fixed date for elections.

According to the EU Mission, they were told that the White Paper is likely to include one of their 2018 EU EOM priority recommendations of introducing a fixed date for the elections.

The EU EOM made 29 specific recommendations in 2018. According to the EU EOM Final Report, 4 of these could be implemented without legislative changes (for instance strengthening and communicating results tabulation processes by NEC), whereas the remaining 25 would require legislative changes, including in 9 cases, changes to the Constitution.

“The EFM has not seen so far unpublished draft legislative Bills, so cannot assess the unknown details of the proposals, other than to note that there is ongoing activity for the implementation of these recommendations,” the Mission stated.

According to several EFM interlocutors, there is a need to build trust in the impartiality and integrity of the electoral management bodies and the judiciary.

This includes the appointment of impartial senior staff in constitutionally independent bodies, particularly NEC and PPRC Commissioners, which were raised by many interlocutors as a systemic issue as having undermined trust in the political and electoral process in this and previous administrations.


The Mission further noted that NEC is in the process of implementing several institutional reforms, including in its structure, staffing, policies, communications and other areas including improving its approach to gender issues and its policies concerning persons with disabilities.

“However, key recommendations related to electoral management, which are designed to improve the integrity, accuracy, and transparency of elections, have not been implemented in by-elections since the EU EOM report in 2018. Some of the recommendations on election management remain under consideration by NEC, but NEC has not yet presented plans to improve the fundamental integrity of electoral results,” the Mission stated.

The Mission reaffirmed that the 2018 EU EOM recommendations would contribute to the credibility and integrity of future elections, adding that the process of implementing the recommendations could itself, if conducted in a spirit of cross-party cooperation, contribute to the reduction of political tensions and demonstrate stakeholders’ commitment to peaceful, inclusive and transparent future election processes in Sierra Leone.

The European Union deployed an Election Follow-up Mission (EFM) to Sierra Leone from 10 October to 7 November 2021 to assess the degree to which the 29 recommendations from the 2018 EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) have been implemented. The EFM also discussed with stakeholders their proposals for further progress towards the implementation of the recommendations in advance of future elections.

The Mission was led by Mr Norbert Neuser, a Member of the European Parliament, who held high-level discussions in Freetown from 24 to 29 October 2021. Meetings were held with a broad range of interlocutors. These included the President, the Vice President, the Chief Minister and other ministers, leaders of all parliamentary parties including the Former President, the Chief Justice, the Speaker of Parliament and other parliamentarians, the leaderships of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), media and media regulators, and representatives of civil society including national election observers. The Mission also met with members of the diplomatic community in Freetown.