40 African Union Observers for Sierra Leone elections
The African Union Commission has announced that it will deploy a total of 40 Election Observers to observe Sierra Leone’s tripartite elections scheduled for 17th November 2012 which the incumbent His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma is tipped to win by a landslide victory.
The African Union Observer Mission will be headed by an unnamed former Head of State.
According to a Note Verbale from the Commission, the Head of the AU Observer Mission will interface with the relevant political stakeholders including the Head of the Elections Commission, the Political Parties Registration Commission, leading political parties and candidates, Head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding, Office of National Security, Independent Media Commission, Head of the Elections Offence Court and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Internal Affairs, Political Affairs and Women and Children Affairs, among others.
Meanwhile on Monday 15th October 2012, Sierra Leone’s Envoy to the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, Ambassador Andrew Bangali attended Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma’s installation as the Commission’s Chairperson.
The colourful ceremony took place at the Commission’s Headquarters in Addis Ababa.
The event was presided over by the President of the Republic of Benin and Chairman of the African Union, Dr. Thomas Boni Yayi.
Dr. Zuma who succeeded Dr. Jean Ping is the first woman ever to lead the Commission.
In her maiden speech, the incoming Chairperson outlined the following as her key priority areas, youth development and education; food security and mineral resources; health and education; institutional capacity building and consolidating African unity.
In his handing over statement Dr. Ping said: “I am giving way to a great lady…I am confident the affairs of the continent are in safe hands.”
The ceremony was also attended by His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Commission’s Deputy Chairperson, Mr. Erastus Mwencha, among other dignitaries.
Mrs. Juliana Hawa Fallah, First Secretary at the Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone in Addis Ababa accompanied Ambassador Bangali to the event.
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