The Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (EC-SL) has received 11,000 empty ballot boxes from the Government of Guinea at the Foracaria Operational Base in Guinea, few miles from the border between Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The Chief Electoral Commissioner and Chair, Mohamed Kenewui Konneh led a delegation of electoral commissioners and staff of the EC-SL to the Republic of Guinea past Saturday 27th May, for the use of Guinean Ballot boxes in Sierra Leone’s 2023 elections.
Commissioner Konneh described the ceremony as a success because the money they should have used to procure more boxes would now be utilized in other areas.
He further clarified to journalists that EC-SL have ballot boxes but they were not enough to conduct the upcoming elections, and as part of the ECOWAS Protocol, ECONEC which he currently serves as Vice president, they have a Policy to loan assets and electoral materials from neighboring countries.
He affirmed that the process is made possible due to the good relationship with Guinea and because they have no pending elections.
Chairman Konneh said: “We are Settle in terms of Ballot Boxes. The boxes are empty and on Election Day we are going to mark them and we are going to make sure that we tag them based on how they are going to be used. “There are no costs attached except for the transportation and maybe bringing journalists to observe the process. The Ballots boxes are going to be with us till after the elections. once we concluded elections, that is when we are going to separate them from others.
“We are not going to use them for this election alone, if there is any petition after the election. We are going to ensure we return them six months after elections.”
The symbolic handing over of the ballot boxes to EC-SL was jointly coordinated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mory Conde and Mr. Ousmane Gawal Diallo spokesman of the Guinean government respectively.
Dr. Conde pointed out that this is the continuity of the good relationship between Guinea and Sierra Leone and among the ECOWAS communities.
He added that if countries are in need to buy or borrow Electoral Ballot Boxes and their elections are not happening at the same time, they can borrow one another to strengthen their friendship.
The handover of the ballot boxes to EC-SL came against the backdrop of EC-SL Signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Guinean Ministry of Territorial Administration (Internal Affairs) on Cooperation to Administer Ballot Boxes Under the West Africa Electoral Peer Support Initiative for the use of Guinean Ballot Boxes in the June 2023 elections in Sierra Leone.