The Commonwealth Secretary-General has applauded the presidential candidates standing for office in Sierra Leone and encouraged them to prioritise national interests and unity ahead of next month’s general elections.
Speaking at today’s Electoral Pledge ceremony in Freetown, the Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, KC, said:
“I applaud all the candidates who have put themselves forward. I applaud you all for being here today to sign this election pledge. Your candidacy comes with a solemn responsibility, because the office of the President is a sacred trust. This election pledge is a solemn responsibility, because it goes far beyond symbolism.
“It is a promise each of you is making before the country and the people you strive to serve: To put your nation above yourself.”
The West African nation of 8.4 million people will head to the polls in parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for 24 June.
The electoral pledge was organised by the Religious Council and the National Council of Paramount Chiefs, supported by local civil society organisations as well as international stakeholders. It sought to boost ongoing national efforts towards peaceful election processes, national cohesion, and a stable political environment within the country.
The Secretary-General also urged the people of Sierra Leone to demonstrate their commitment to democracy and peace:
“This election is a special opportunity: To capture the spirit, energy and daring of a youthful people, who are active in their participation, and willing to shape the future of this nation; to demonstrate your continued resilience…; to take your next decisive steps forward; and to show the world that the path towards development lies in unity.”
The Secretary-General recently announced a Commonwealth Observer Group to observer the June 24 election. The group will be led by Nigerian Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and will include eminent persons from across the Commonwealth. They will observe the electoral process and provide an independent assessment of whether the election has been conducted in a credible manner.
- Josephine Latu-Sanft Senior Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
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