The National Democratic Institute (NDI), a non profit and non partisan organization, is preparing for the upcoming local council elections.
At a seminar on political platform and message development with different political parties’ aspirants at the presidential lounge at the National Stadium in Freetown, NDI’s country director Honorine Muyoyeta gave an overview of the programme.
She said her organization worked to strengthen and expand democracy worldwide, adding that they were working in almost 60 countries in the world.
The country director noted that the seminar aimed at focusing on preparing candidates for the upcoming local council elections.
“In every country that we operate we ensure that we create partnership with different stakeholders,” he said, noting that in 2001 in Sierra Leone NDI worked with political parties, parliament, civil society, the security sector and other actors to strengthen civic participation and political institutions.
On the political parties, she noted, they had many activities during the past presidential and parliamentary elections and that NDI trained party agents, held party fora for political party leaders.
Mrs. Muyoyeta maintained that in preparation for the local council elections, NDI had continued to work closely with national partners to develop voters’ education and media campaigns to increase citizens’ awareness and participation.
NDI, she pointed out, would provide training and financial resources to Sierra Leone’s independent media to help ensure that the electoral process was observed and reported in a balanced manner.
The country director echoed that her institute also continued to work with a coalition of domestic monitoring organizations, the National Elections Watch (NEW), who would observe the local council elections.
She stated that, “NDI is working with Sierra Leonean political parties as they prepare for the local council elections and will provide training for political party poll watchers on their roles and responsibilities and the electoral procedures”.
Mrs. Muyoyeta disclosed that her institute had also worked to increase the participation of women and youths in the political process as candidates for office and leaders for political parties, and also to strengthen the capacity of Sierra Leone’s civil society organizations to effectively monitor the electoral process.