Mourtada Dene, an international long term observer for the National Democratic Institute (NDI), on Thursday at the NDI office in Freetown said “organizing credible national elections is a critical benchmark for the country as it strives for stability and the consolidation of peace and democracy”.
Addressing journalists on behalf of his multimedia delegation, he said “the delegation is composed of experienced political and civic leaders from Africa, Europe and America”. He stated that the purpose of the delegation was to express the international community’s interest in, and support for democratic governance and the conduct of multiparty elections in Sierra Leone and to provide an impartial and accurate report on that process to Sierra Leoneans and the international community.
Mr Dene maintained that successful presidential and legislative elections would offer the people of Sierra Leone the best hope for attaining sustained peace and development. He pointed out that the long term observers would be based on the four regional centres of Sierra Leone, conducting elections observation activities all the 14 districts. The delegation, he said, would meet with representatives of the political parties and officials from NEC and government, as well as civil society representatives of the international community.
Mourtada Dene maintained further that the delegation would pay due attention to the role of marginalized groups in the electoral process, including women and persons with disabilities.