Sierra Leone’s Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards has in a meeting with European Union Exploratory Mission from Brussels and the European Union Delegation in Freetown assured that the Judiciary is readily prepared to promote Electoral Justice in the country.
He assured that Electoral Court will be established and Judges deployed in every district to ensure speedy conclusion of all cases brought before the Court.
The purpose of the EU Mission is to collect factual information on the pre-electoral situation in view of possible deployment of EU Election Observation Mission for the upcoming general elections.
In a similar development, the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu yesterday met with an EU Pre-Election Assessment Team in his Chambers at Parliament Building and called on them to field in a full-fledged EU Election Observation Mission for the purposes of the June 24 multi-tier elections, that will be conducted by the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone, using the Proportional Representation (District Block) System as provided for by law and recently upheld by the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone.
Accompanied by the Head of European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone, Ambassador Manuel Muller, Head of European Union Delegation on Election Observation, Dr. Julia Ruppel said they were on an assessment mission to ascertain whether the proper conditions existed for the conduct of the June 24 multi-tier elections, and to also know whether the country would want an EU Election Observation Mission given their previous deployment to Sierra Leone starting from nomination, campaigning, voting, counting, tabulation and petitions.
The Delegation also asked questions on the Public Elections Act 2022, Election Regulations, and the Election Petition Rules.
Responding, the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu welcomed the EU Delegation and thanked them for their continued support to Parliament in respect of capacity building. He called on the EU to field an Election Observation Mission to Sierra Leone because it is a democratic country that believes in holding elections according to the principles of democracy and good governance.
He also assured the Delegation that Parliament had put mechanisms in place for the conduct of free, fair, transparent and democratic elections that will allow the people to vote and install a government of their choice to run the affairs of the State. He said following a constitutional amendment in 2001, the June 24 2023 multi-tier elections will be only the second time that elections would be conducted on the Proportional Representation (District Block) System and not on the basis of first pass the post or the constituency- based system of election.
He expressed the desire to see the time when such a mandatory provision is elevated to an entrenched law in the Constitution of Sierra Leone.
Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu spoke of the imperative of respecting provisions of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone in terms of all political parties organizing themselves in accordance with democratic principles for their respective internal structures as they are enjoined so to do by Section 35 of the 1991 Constitution.