The ECOWAS Observer Mission who to the 11th August 2007 presidential and parliamentary elections in connections with the August 11 2007 general elections on Sunday 12 August 2007 recommended that the voting process, including the identification of voters, the secrecy of the ballot, reconciliation, counting, announcement and endorsement of results at the polling stations was adequately free, peaceful and credible. This recommendation that was made at the Kimbima Hotel, Aberdeen in Freetown, states that the vast majority of voters had ample opportunity to exercise their franchise in a transparent, tranquil and orderly manner.
The ECOWAS Mission which comprises 60 observers notes that the National Election Commission (NEC) has so far discharged its duties with commendable professionalism, fairness and firmness.
They also recommend that ECOWAS will closely observe the concluding phase of the process, particularly the collation and declaration of results, of the 11 August 2007 elections, and would make further declarations, should the need arise.
With regard to the challenges observed in the elections, the mission observes that: parliament considers reviewing the calendar of elections to avoid holding them during the rainy season, the political parties adopt measures to ensure adequate training for their polling agents.
The government and political parties encourage the participation of women and the youth at all levels of the political process, particularly, their representation at the elected levels, they recommend.
The mission also commends the government, NEC, political parties and the people of Sierra Leone for their determination and commitment to the electoral process as a basis for consolidating peace, stability and democracy in the country. This is even more encouraging against the background of the recent political history of the country.
The mission encourages NEC to successfully conclude the process by maintaining its impartiality and adherence to the constitution in the execution of their responsibilities.
The mission, which was head by General Seth K. Obeng also a member of the organizations Council of the Wise and former chief of defence staff Ghana Armed Forces, maintains that women were grossly under represented in the parliamentary election even though conscious efforts were made to pass gender parity laws in parliament.
The mission also calls on the political parties to adopt urgent measures to ensure adequate training for their polling agents, even as it appealed to all political parties and candidates to employ peaceful and constitutional means to seek redress to any grievances that may arise from the elections.