The European Union Elections Observers Network yesterday, the 6th February, 2023, held a fruitful dialogue with the National Grand Coalition (NGC) Parliamentary Leader, Hon. Kandeh Yumkella, at his Residence in Imatt, Freetown.

Their discourse was focused on the importance of political competition in  democracies, contestability & vulnerability of small parties, & the dangers of divisive ethno-regional/identity politics.

The EU is a globally recognised and credible actor in international election observation. Since 2000, the EU has deployed over 200 Election Observation Missions (EOMs) in more than 75 countries.

The purpose of the EU Election observation missions is to assist partner countries in holding elections of a high standard. The Election observation missions analyse the electoral process and provide an independent and impartial assessment of the elections. The methodology of the missions is based on a long-term approach, taking into account all aspects of the electoral process. The missions are grounded in international humanitarian law and provide recommendations to improve the democratic process around elections.

Their visit to the NGC Leader comes in a state when the NGC party is facing challenging times, after losing some of its senior members including the Chairman who claimed that the party has strayed from its objective it was created for about 6 years ago.

The NGC is Sierra Leone’s third largest party with over 40,000 people voting for them in the previous presidential election.

Many of their supporters are Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora and young people who are fed up with the country’s two main parties.