In a bid to support competitive, transparent, and peaceful elections in Sierra Leone, the European Union (EU) has announced the deployment of an EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) for the fifth time.

The EOM will observe the general elections scheduled for June 24, 2023, and provide an independent, evidence-based assessment of the electoral process.

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, has appointed Evin Incir, Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer of the 2023 EU EOM to Sierra Leone.

Speaking about the upcoming elections, Borrell emphasized the importance of the polls, saying, “The forthcoming elections will be crucial for the future of the country as well as for the West Africa region.”

The EU EOM is composed of different groups of observers, with the Core Team consisting of 10 election experts who will arrive in Freetown on 11 May 2023. On 20 May, 28 long-term observers will join the mission to be deployed across the country and follow the election campaign. Thereafter, 40 short-term observers as well as up to 10 locally recruited short-term observers will reinforce the mission on election day. The EU EOM will remain in the country until the completion of the electoral process.

The Chief Observer, Evin Incir, expressed his great sense of responsibility in leading the mission and engaging with various electoral stakeholders. He also called on state authorities, political parties, and candidates to promote inclusive, credible, and peaceful elections.

โ€œIt is a great honour for me to lead this Election Observation Mission, which I assume with a great sense of responsibility. I look forward to engaging with various electoral stakeholders and trust that state authorities, political parties, and candidates will play their part in promoting inclusive, credible, and peaceful elections,โ€ Incir said.

In line with the EU methodology on election observation, the mission will issue a preliminary statement and hold a press conference in Freetown after election day. A final report, including recommendations for future electoral processes, will be presented after the finalization of the entire electoral process.

With the EU’s long-term commitment to supporting peaceful and transparent elections in Sierra Leone, the deployment of the EOM for the fifth time is an important step towards strengthening the country’s democracy.