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Sierra Leone: President vows to implement EU elections recommendations

Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio has promised to study and implement where appropriate recommendations of the European Union’s 2018 Elections Observation Mission.President Bio made this undertaking on Wednesday as he was presented with a copy of the 29-page report by the Chief Elections Observer of the EU team, Ms Jean Lambert. She was at State House to present the final report, two months after the new president was sworn in following the March 31 Presidential runoff.

The election process was characterized by a lot of issues, among them eligibility of candidates to contest, policies that appear to discriminate against vulnerable segment of the society, like women,
and a controversial constitutional provision which require public officials to resign from office at least one year before the next election if they intended to contest any position.

Many of these issues were thought to have been exploited by the incumbent party to the disadvantage of opposition parties.

According to the EU team, these are part of a set of six recommendations out of the lots which they believe require urgent attention and they pleaded with President Bio to look into them before
the next election.

The Sierra Leonean President, for his part, acknowledged the importance of the recommendations in furthering Sierra Leone’s fledgling democracy and promised to look at them.

“We will take a look at them as we try to move ahead in improving our democratic credentials and I think this will help us a lot,” Bio said. “We are definitely going to look at them to see how much we can take onboard,” he added.

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