Concord Times (Freetown)

Sierra Leone: EU Reinforces Its Presence in Salone With 50 New Observers

After the successful deployment of 28 long term observers across the country on October 14 2012, the European Union Election Observation Mission to Sierra Leone yesterday deployed another 50 short term observers from 25 EU member states to observe Saturday polls, making it a total of 86 observers.

Chief Observer, Richard Howitt, told newsmen and political parties' representatives at the Bintumani Hotel Car Park that the additional deployment of 50 short term observers confirm that they are technically equipped to observe the polls, counting and tally process across the country.

"With the deployment of our short term observers, the EU EOM is now fully strength to observe the November 17 polls and the counting and tally procedures across the country. These 50 short term observers will reinforce our presence in all the districts of Sierra Leone to continue watching closely the electoral process," he said.

He added that the process will generate peaceful, democratic and transparent elections, while calling on political parties to caution their supporters to renounce violence before, during and after the polls.

Howitt disclosed that a delegation of four members of the EU Parliament will be joining the team tomorrow and that a preliminary statement on findings and conclusion will be issued after the electoral process.

"I sincerely hope that during the next day, all political parties will call on their supporters to refrain from any forms of violence before, during and after November 17 polls. It is crucial that all Sierra Leoneans show their commitment with peace and democracy in such an important moment for the country," he maintained.

The EU Chief Observer has also travelled to Kono to closely follow the preparation of Saturday polls and to meet with different interlocutors in the region.

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