Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone: ECOWAS to send election observers

ABIDJAN, 3 May (IRIN) - A 30-member delegation of the Economic Community of West African States will monitor Sierra Leone's parliamentary and presidential elections on 14 May, the organisation reported on Thursday.
A member of the ECOWAS Council of Elders, Theresa Striggner-Scott of Ghana, would lead the delegation. Other members would include council Vice President, Alimata Salambere of Burkina Faso. Most of the delegation - the largest election monitoring unit ECOWAS has fielded - comprises legislators, lawyers, political scientists and diplomats.

They are drawn from 13 of the community's 15 member states and include the special representative of the ECOWAS executive secretary to Sierra Leone, Col. Mahamane Toure and Mohammed Diagne, who head the subregion's zonal observatory in the Liberian capital, Monrovia.

An advance team of four from the group was expected in Freetown on Friday. The rest would follow on Monday. The entire delegation was due to leave Sierra Leone 20 May, ECOWAS said.

ECOWAS reports its observers have monitored elections in Liberia in 1997, Niger in 1999, The Gambia in 2001 and Zimbabwe in 2002.


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