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Image of a man posting his vote at the Sierra Leone 2012 elections. Copyright: Commonwealth Secretariat

Sierra Leone retains its record of peaceful democracy

Duration: 
2012
Following an invitation from Sierra Leone’s Independent Electoral Commission, the Commonwealth Secretariat sent a group of eminent persons to observe the country’s elections in November 2012.

Commonwealth election observers assess the credibility of countries’ elections. Their findings indicate the strength of a country’s electoral and democratic arrangements. 

Commonwealth response: 

The Commonwealth established a Commonwealth Observer Group led by former Ugandan Foreign Minister and Ugandan People’s Congress Party president, Dr Olara Otunnu.

Result: 

Sierra Leone went to the polls and witnessed another peaceful election, further consolidating the political, social and economic stability built after many years of conflict. After polling day, the main opposition party questioned the validity of the election results and demanded an independent international enquiry into the process.

Dr Otunnu helped supplement local efforts to broker a meeting between the victorious and other candidates. The Secretaries-General of the opposing parties subsequently met and issued a joint press statement. The opposition decided to challenge the outcome of the elections in the Supreme Court, but attended the opening of Parliament on 6 December 2012.