The three-day session organized by UNDP-Global Programme for Electoral Cycle Support (GPEC), held at the Taia Resort in a bid to empower the National Electoral Commission on election related matters, ended today. The three-day exercise that was held at the Taia Resort in the west-end of Freetown, was aimed at sharing experiences with twenty-five countries in the sub-region on issues pertaining to the conduct of free, fair and violence-free elections.
The Chairman of the session, who also doubled as Regional Electoral Advisor, Mr. Gianpiero Catozzi, said that the programme was organized to strengthen the electoral support programme under the United Nation Development Programme.
He said this is the first session of its kind primarily designed to get the experience of countries that have just held elections in the sub-region including Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Guinea etc.
He went on to state that the forum will identify challenges that were experienced by the countries’ electoral processes and proffer recommendations on how to combat the challenges in countries that are yet to hold elections .
The Chief Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Christiana Thorpe, said that the session, for the very fact that the exercise is held in the country means a huge benefit for the people of Sierra Leone, especially when the country is about to implement the biometric voter registration for the 2012 Presidential, Parliamentary and other elections.
She also said that “the intention to hold such a workshop here in Sierra Leone speaks volume on our successes in electioneering process we have implemented over the years”.
She expressed the hope that what has been learnt from the three-day session will be practicalised to ensure successful, free, fair and transparent elections come 2012.
By Poindexter Sama