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UN Resident Coordinator ‘no reason next elections should not be free and fair’

UN Resident Coordinator ‘no reason next elections should not be free and fair’

“There is no reason why the next elections should not be free and fair and free from fear” UN Resident Coordinator

The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone Sunil Saigal has said Sierra Leone has a history to conduct free and fair elections and that there is no reason why the next elections should not be free and fair and free from fear.

He made this statement on Tuesday February 14 at the UNDP office in Freetown during a courtesy call with him by the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL).

The UN Resident Coordinator further stated that the coming elections would be one that would be held without the political oversight of the UN Peacekeepers. Because of that, he stated that “that places the responsibility on the government, the democratic institutions and the people of Sierra Leone”. Placing further responsibilities on government, the UN Resident Coordinator said it was up to government to organize and create the enabling environment, provide election security for electorates to vote, and for candidates to campaign freely.

Whilst congratulating the HRCSL on their 10th year of operations, Sunil Saigal expressed the UNDP’s continued collaboration with democratic institutions and called on the HRCSL to look in to the key aspect of right issues during the electioneering process. He however lauded the human rights record of Sierra Leone but stressed the importance to improve in the areas of rule of law and access to justice.

Commissioner Brima A. Sheriff of HRCSL updated the UNDP on their support to the Commission since its inception and explained the development of their 2018 elections strategy that has been developed. As a result of the increased demand for the services of HRCSL and in the light of the ongoing redistricting and de-amalgamation of chiefdoms, the Commissioner solicited support for the need of HRCSL to proactively place itself within the anticipated  expansion of the new headquarter towns of Port Loko (North Western District) and Koinadugu (Kabala).

Ishmael Bayoh

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