Commonwealth observers will arrive in Sierra Leone next week in advance of the forthcoming general election on March 7.
The Commonwealth has been invited to observe the election by the chairperson of the National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone.
Incumbent President Ernest Bai Koroma has served the maximum term of 10 years since coming into office in 2007. To be elected president of Sierra Leone, a candidate must gain at least 55% of the vote. If no candidate gets this, there is a second-round runoff election between the top two candidates.
Presidential candidates come from parties including the All People’s Congress, Coalition for Change, National Grand Coalition, Sierra Leone People’s Party and the Unity Party.
The 15-member observer group arrives in the West African country next week and will observe the electoral process independently, following standards set out in the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory.
The chair of the group is John Dramani Mahama, former President of Ghana.