In response to the invitation by the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone, the European Union will deploy an EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) to observe the general elections scheduled for 24 June 2023.
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. The EU previously deployed EOMs to Sierra Leone in 2018, 2012, 2007 and 2002, as well as an Election Follow-up Mission in 2021.
High Representative, Josep Borrell, said: “Over the last 21 years, Sierra Leoneans have built a hard-won peace. The forthcoming elections will be crucial for the future of the country as well as for the West Africa region. The EU, with the deployment of an Electoral Observation Mission for the fifth time, confirms its long-term commitment to supporting competitive, transparent and peaceful elections in Sierra Leone. Under the leadership of Chief Observer Incir, the EU EOM will provide an independent, evidence-based assessment of the electoral process and its final report will be an important contribution to Sierra Leone’s efforts and aspirations to strengthening its democracy.”
The Chief Observer, Evin Incir, said: “It 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.”
The EU EOM is composed of different groups of observers. The Core Team consists 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.
In line with the EU methodology on election observation, the mission will issue a preliminary statement and hold a press conference in Freetown after the election day. A final report, including recommendations for future electoral processes, will be presented after the finalisation of the entire electoral process.