The delegation comprise the Electoral Commissioner of Burkina Faso, President of the Electoral Commission for Cape Verde, the Electroral Commissioner of the Republic of Guinea, Head of elections and political processes of the Electoral institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa and other Commissioners from other countries in West Africa.
Owing to the fact that Sierra Leon and Liberia will be holding crucial elections in March 2018 and October 2017 respectively. The Delegation held separate meetings with the leaderships of Sierra Leone’s National Electoral Commission (NEC), the Political Party Registration Commission (PPRC) and political parties.
“For the first time, all 15 member States of ECOWAS are democracies and ECONEC as a collective of election management bodies is determined to consolidate credible elections in our region through experience sharing on best practices, working together, helping each other and also working with partners,” Prof. Yakubu, chairman of Nigeria’s Electoral Commission (INEC) told the gathering.
He said “We are here to listen to you and also learn from you, not to teach or dictate to you.”
Yakubu promised that ECONEC would assist with advocacy to various stakeholders in support of the Commission, stressing that the credibility of any election depended on the credibility of the election administrators and the integrity of the process, including the voter registration.
Mohamed N’fah-Alie Conteh, chair of the five-member NEC, briefed the ECONEC team and made a presentation on the general preparation by the Commission for the March 2018 elections, covering issues related to voter registration, boundary delimitation, legal reforms, logistics, election security, electoral calendar and funding.
He thanked ECONEC for the visit and ECOWAS and member States, especially Nigeria for their assistance in the restoration of peace and deepening of democracy in Sierra Leone, which went through a decade of civil war and the Ebola virus devastation of 2014.
The chair of Sierra Leone’s PPRC, Justice Patrick Hamilton briefed the ECONEC delegation on the functions of the Political Party Registration Commission and expressed his optimism about progress of the electoral process and the level of cooperation from the political parties and other stakeholders.
While the leaders of the political parties expressed their concerns especially in relation to voter registration, boundary delimitation and security.