Friday, June 9, 2023

Sierra Leone Election: Osinbajo to lead Commonwealth observer group

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has accepted to lead the Commonwealth Observer Group to the Sierra Leone 2023 general elections.

• May 26, 2023
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, delivers a high-level keynote address at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York City, USA. 9th Dec, 2022.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has accepted to lead the Commonwealth Observer Group constituted by secretary general Patricia Scotland to observe the Sierra Leone 2023 general elections.

Mr Osinbajo’s media aide Laolu Akande disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

Ms Scotland constituted the observer group, a team of distinguished experts upon the invitation from Sierra Leone’s electoral commission.

As the group’s chair, Mr Osinbajo would be the leader and spokesperson of the group of distinguished experts drawn from around the world, interfacing between the group, the media and the authorities of the host country.

In a statement on Thursday, Ms Scotland expressed gratitude to Mr Osinbajo for accepting the invitation despite his busy schedule.

“As a senior statesman from the region, Osinbajo understands, in depth, the challenges across West Africa, and I am confident he will lead a brilliant team,” Ms Scotland said.

Responding, Mr Osinbajo welcomed the opportunity to lead the election observers in Sierra Leone on June 24.

“I’m highly honoured by the unique opportunity to continue to bring my expertise and experience in contributing to deepening democracy, especially in Africa and the Commonwealth by extension,” stated the Nigerian vice-president.

According to the Commonwealth secretariat, Mr Osinbajo will be joined by recognised dignitaries from various fields, including politicians, legal, media, gender and election administration professionals across the Commonwealth.

The group’s mandate would be to observe the electoral process and provide an independent assessment of whether the election is credible.

The group will then report on the conduct of the elections in accordance with the standards to which Sierra Leone has committed itself, including its own laws.

“In line with Commonwealth methodology, the group will consider, among other things, whether conditions exist for credible and inclusive elections, including a fair election environment; whether public media has been impartial; the transparency of the entire process; and whether voters are free to express their will,” the organisation said.

“The group, upon completion of its assignment, will submit its recommendations in a report to the Commonwealth secretary-general, who will subsequently share it with the government of Sierra Leone, the electoral commission, political parties and all Commonwealth governments,” it added.


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