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Monday, 26 March 2018

ECOWAS Concerned Over Court Injunction On Sierra Leone Run-Off Poll

The ECOWAS Commission has experienced concern over the interim injunction issued by a High Court on Saturday, restraining the National Electoral Commission (NEC) from proceeding with preparations for the Tuesday  Presidential run-off election.

A statement issued by Mr Paul Ejime, the Spokesman of ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commission (ECONEC) and a member of the ECOWAS observer Mission, made this known in Freetown.

The commission noted that the on-going electoral process up to the time of the announcement of results of the March 7 general elections had been generally peaceful apart from minor incidents.

The commission appealed for calm and stress the need for Sierra Leoneans, all political actors and stakeholders to remain law abiding, and allow NEC to carry out its constitutional mandate.

It further enjoined all government institutions to assume their full responsibilities and ensure respect for the rule of law.

It also charged security agencies to ensure the protection of lives and property.

“The ECOWAS Commission is closely monitoring developments in Sierra Leone and wishes to reiterate its continued support to the country in this critical juncture of its political history.

“This is consistent with the ECOWAS mandate and commitment to ensure peace and stability, and especially its principled stance to consolidate democracy and good governance through promotion of credible elections and zero-tolerance for ascension to power through unconstitutional means.”

The Commission noted the governance progress in the region with all ECOWAS member States now running a democratic system.

“The Commission therefore wishes to remind all and sundry about the consequences under the relevant Protocols and instrumentalities for acts likely to undermine the region’s widely acknowledged democratic credentials.”

It also quoted, Prof. Amos Sawyer, Head of 55-member ECOWAS Election Observation Mission for the run-off poll, as charging the observers to be vigilant and await the next steps as the political situation unfolds.

It added that Sawyer at the orientation for the observers in Freetown on Sunday, underscored the need to protect the integrity of electoral process and to ensure that the electoral body did not lose track.

Sawyer, who also led the 65-member ECOWAS Observation Team to the first round balloting, encouraged all Sierra Leonean stakeholders to ensure that the electoral process was taken to a peaceful and successful completion.

Similarly, the ECOWAS Commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace and Security Gen. Francis Behanzin, appealed for patience.

Behanzin urged Sierra Leoneans to replicate the determination and resilience they had shown so far on the electoral process.

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