Statement of HRCSL on the Conduct of the 2012 Elections
November 23, 2012: The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) commends the people of Sierra Leone for the high turnout and peaceful manner in which they comported themselves during the November 17, 2012 Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council Elections. The Commission is particularly impressed by their resilience and enthusiasm, which clearly demonstrates their overriding desire for development and the consolidation of democracy, human rights, peace and stability.
The Commission also commends the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the security forces for the satisfactory manner in which they carried out their mandate; the media, civil society, local and international observers, as well as the international community, for supporting and guarding the process.
This commendation is part of the overall 2012 Elections Monitoring Report of the Commission detailing key findings and recommendations in relation to the exercise of and respect for human rights in the pre, during and post-election period to be released to the public soon.
However, the Commission noted certain key administrative and logistical challenges, such as the late opening of a substantial number of polling stations and inadequate information directing voters to the polling stations where they were supposed to vote. In some polling centres, pregnant women, lactating mothers, the aged and persons with disability were not given priority to vote. In addition, there were polling centers that were not easily accessible to persons with disability. Moreover, the list of security personnel deployed to vote in certain stations was not available to the polling centre managers.
As people anxiously await the final and official declaration of the results by NEC, the Commission appeals to all to continue to maintain the peace we have achieved and continue to respect human rights and the rule of law.
Rev. Moses Khanu, Chairperson, HRCSL
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